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Monday, July 15th, 2024

Two reports address mental health, safety of law enforcement officers

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The Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) published two reports this week focused on federal, state, local and tribal police officers’ mental health and safety.

The Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act: Report to Congress includes 22 recommendations. These include guidance for law enforcement agencies making substantial efforts to reduce suicide and integrating mental health professionals into law enforcement agencies.

The Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Programs: Eleven Case Studies is an overview of multiple successful and promising law enforcement mental health and wellness strategies.

“A damaging national narrative has emerged in which law enforcement officers – whether federal, state, local, or tribal – are seen not as protectors of communities but as oppressors,” Phil Keith, COPS office director, said. “In this environment, where an inherently stressful job is made more so by a constant undercurrent of distrust and negative public opinion, the risks to officer wellness are exacerbated. This report is an important measure and reflection in our ongoing commitment to protect those who protect us. ”

The reports are required under the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act (LEMHWA) of 2017.

Nationwide there are more than 800,000 federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officers.