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Tuesday, May 21st, 2024

Bill aiding officer suicide prevention heads to president’s desk

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House and Senate lawmakers have approved a measure restoring grant funding for law enforcement support services, enabling the establishment of suicide-prevention programs and mental health services.

The Supporting and Treating Officers in Crisis Act was co-sponsored by Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ), Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and now awaits President Donald Trump’s signature.

“The men and women of law enforcement put their lives on the line every day to protect us,” McSally said. “I applaud the House for swiftly passing our bipartisan, commonsense legislation to ensure the law enforcement heroes that protect our communities have access to the assistance they need before they need it.”

McSally said that while suicide is the number one cause of death for police officers, Congress has failed to fund grant programs providing support services for officers and their families. The bill restores and expands grant funding for such programs.

The bill has been endorsed by numerous law enforcement and mental health advocacy groups, including the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, National Sheriffs’ Association, Major County Sheriffs of America, National Association of Police Organizations, National Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

“I’m thrilled that Congress passed my bipartisan legislation to support our men and women in law enforcement,” Hawley said. “These heroes show up every day to protect and serve our communities, so it’s important that we show up for them.”

U.S. Reps. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) and Madeleine Dean (D-PA) introduced the House companion legislation.