WASHINGTON — As part of National Police Week, Judiciary Committee ranking member Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at improving the public security. Their bipartisan Law Enforcement Training Act TBI and PTSD provide resources for training law enforcement officials and first responders when handling incidents involving people with traumatic brain injury (TBI) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) ).
“It is important that our police and all first responders have the resources they need to deal with a variety of emergencies, including incidents involving people with traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder. Our legislation would provide ministries with crisis response tools that can help de-escalate situations and improve outcomes for everyone involved,” said Grassley.
“Better training for law enforcement officers to handle cases of post-traumatic stress or traumatic brain injury will improve public safety, support mental health and reduce the devastation of severe brain injury,” said Osoff.
The bill will improve law enforcement training by strengthening the Collaborative Justice and Mental Health Program. The program would be responsible for developing and implementing trainings on PTSD and TBI, and these trainings would in turn be included in the Police Mental Health Collaborative Kit – a free training tool that provides resources to law enforcement agencies to effectively respond to calls for service. .
Grassley and Ossoff’s bill is widely supported by law enforcement and mental health organizations, including the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA), Major County Sheriffs of America (MCSA), National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), National Narcotics Officers’ Associations’ Coalition (NNOAC), National Sheriffs Association (NSA), Sergeants Benevolent Association NYPD (SBA) , National District Attorneys Association (NDAA), National Association of State Head Injury Administrators (NASHIA), Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), and National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
“Law enforcement officers are increasingly on the front lines responding to and intervening in mental and behavioral health crises, including those affected by traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. The TBI and PTSD Law Enforcement Training Act would make training and guidance available to departments to help improve the responses and outcomes of interactions between law enforcement officers and those affected by TBI and PTSD”, said Mick McHale, president of the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO). “This legislation also recognizes that law enforcement and first responders are among those in our communities who suffer from these conditions and mandates the CDC to conduct a study of the prevalence of TBI and PTSD in the profession. We thank Senators Ossoff and Grassley for championing this legislation and for their continued support of the law enforcement community.
“Law enforcement officers and prosecutors face daily challenges in responding to mental and behavioral health crises. Increased resources, improved training and guidance from the Attorney General will play an important role in helping those who protect our communities interact safely with members of the community who suffer from traumatic brain injury or mental disorders. post-traumatic stress “, said Nelson Bunn, executive director of the National Association of District Attorneys. “This legislative proposal takes a much-needed step by providing the support law enforcement needs to keep our communities safe while asking the federal government to better understand the health issues facing line officers and prosecutors. that protect the communities in which we live.”
“We thank Senators Ossoff and Grassley for addressing such an important issue – people with mental illness who are in crisis deserve a compassionate and thoughtful response from first responders. Every community needs its law enforcement agencies to have the tools they need to respond better when called upon to respond to a mental health crisis. We appreciate Senators Ossoff and Grassley who introduced this bill and view it as a step in the right direction,” said Daniel H. Gillison, Jr., CEO of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) is also a co-sponsor of the legislation. Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr. (DN.J.), John Rutherford (R-Fla.), Don Bacon (R-Neb.), and Val Demings (D-Fla.) lead a companion bill in the US House of Representatives.