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house Bill H.R. 2228

Letting Local Agencies Spend Justice Dept. Grants on Mental Health and Wellness Programs for Law Enforcement Officers

Argument in favor

Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line daily to protect our communities, it’s only right that agencies look for ways to provide them with mental health and wellness services given the emotional strain of their jobs.

Hillary's Opinion
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11/27/2017
Mental health and mental illness should be addressed at every level by everyone. Since the time of Reagan who demolished the community mental health system in this country we have faced higher levels of violence, higher levels of mentally ill persons being incarcerated for being ill. This is not only cruel and harmful it DOES NOT WORK. You can’t punish someone into sanity. If police officers and families had safe, caring options for treatment of mentally ill persons there wouldn’t be such fear of stopping a car and wondering what the officer will find when he approaches that vehicle. If we had safe and caring options for mentally ill people our jails would be dramatically less crowded, our homeless rates would fall. And if we offer our police force real mental health care maybe we wouldn’t see so many appearances of PTSD type reactions. We ask these officers to be the basic janitors of our messy civilization and then chastise them when the stress is too much to bear. I am appalled and disgusted by the regular shooting of African American men and it must stop now. But I also see officers who should have been removed from duty to deal with their fear and stress long before they killed someone. You can’t ask someone to go into situations daily for 30 years where they may be shot, stabbed, punched up, spit on, trapped and every imaginable bad situation and not give them serious mental health support and adequate time off.
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11/27/2017
Yes to this, and also let's see if we can expand mental health training/awareness for police to better understand the relevant concerns in the communities where they work, and how that affects the work they do
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Sean's Opinion
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11/27/2017
This should be for everyone, but every step on that path should be approved.
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Argument opposed

Federal law enforcement grants shouldn’t be available for local agencies to use on providing officers with mental health and wellness services. There are other ways those resources could be put to better use.

Eric's Opinion
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06/30/2017
The presidents mental health should be a bigger concern
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Donald's Opinion
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11/27/2017
We need better screening of who gets hired as law enforcement officers... The recent history of police maiming and killing unarmed civilians is proof that too many officers get hired who have poor judgement at best, and racist tendencies...
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NoHedges's Opinion
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11/27/2017
The is simply an attempt to appear to be doing something about the growing mental healthcare crisis. Essentially, it is to create 📝 paperwork. Congress would then need to be TRUSTWORTHY TO DO SOMETHING with the reports. And Congress is definitely NOT TRUSTWORTHY. PS A lack of mental healthcare services DECREASES THE BIRTHRATE. This may come as a surprise to our GOP, who has access to quality healthcare, but depression DECREASES libido in both sexes.
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What is House Bill H.R. 2228?

This bill would direct the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) to report to Congress on Dept. of Defense (DOD) and Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) mental health practices and services that could be adopted by law enforcement agencies. DOJ’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) would be required to report to Congress on programs to address the psychological health and well-being of law enforcement agencies. Grant funding under the COPS program would be allowed for use on peer mentoring mental health and wellness pilot programs within state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies.

DOJ would be required to coordinate with the Dept. of Health and Human Services in developing educational resources for mental health providers regarding the culture of law enforcement agencies and therapies for mental health issues common to law enforcement officers.

DOJ would also be required to:

  • Review existing crisis hotlines, recommend improvements, and research annual mental health checks;

  • Examine the mental health and wellness needs of federal officers;

  • Ensure that recommendations, resources, or programs under this bill protect the privacy of participating officers.

Impact

Law enforcement officers and their agencies at all levels of government; relevant federal agencies; and Congress.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2228

$1.00 Million
The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would cost about $1 million in fiscal year 2018.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) introduced this bill to help agencies create or improve mental health services for law enforcement officers:

“Members of our law enforcement put themselves in harm’s way to protect our communities every day. Our officers deal with the unthinkable and daily face situations that can be hard to process and impossible to forget. They need the training and resources to protect their own emotional and mental wellbeing in these situations. This bill provides law enforcement officers with the skills to handle the stress and anxiety associated with their job as well as the resources to address serious mental health challenges that may arise like depression and PTSD. I am proud to support our law enforcement agencies, mental health providers and most importantly, our men and women in blue.”

Rep. Val Demings (D-FL), an original cosponsor of the bill, added:

“Our law enforcement officers are called to some of the most horrific situations and step into harm's way to protect of us every day. As Chief of Police, I made it a priority to talk to my police officers, to understand and know what they were dealing with on the streets.  We should do what we can to take care of them, so they are always prepared to take care of us.”

This legislation passed the House Judiciary Committee on a voice vote and has the support of 32 bipartisan cosponsors, including 21 Republicans and 11 Democrats.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: kali9 / iStock)

AKA

Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act of 2017

Official Title

To provide support for law enforcement agency efforts to protect the mental health and well-being of law enforcement officers, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • EnactedJanuary 10th, 2018
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The senate Passed December 21st, 2017
    Passed by Voice Vote
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
  • The house Passed November 28th, 2017
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
    IntroducedApril 28th, 2017

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    Mental health and mental illness should be addressed at every level by everyone. Since the time of Reagan who demolished the community mental health system in this country we have faced higher levels of violence, higher levels of mentally ill persons being incarcerated for being ill. This is not only cruel and harmful it DOES NOT WORK. You can’t punish someone into sanity. If police officers and families had safe, caring options for treatment of mentally ill persons there wouldn’t be such fear of stopping a car and wondering what the officer will find when he approaches that vehicle. If we had safe and caring options for mentally ill people our jails would be dramatically less crowded, our homeless rates would fall. And if we offer our police force real mental health care maybe we wouldn’t see so many appearances of PTSD type reactions. We ask these officers to be the basic janitors of our messy civilization and then chastise them when the stress is too much to bear. I am appalled and disgusted by the regular shooting of African American men and it must stop now. But I also see officers who should have been removed from duty to deal with their fear and stress long before they killed someone. You can’t ask someone to go into situations daily for 30 years where they may be shot, stabbed, punched up, spit on, trapped and every imaginable bad situation and not give them serious mental health support and adequate time off.
    Like (98)
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    The presidents mental health should be a bigger concern
    Like (61)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes to this, and also let's see if we can expand mental health training/awareness for police to better understand the relevant concerns in the communities where they work, and how that affects the work they do
    Like (49)
    Follow
    Share
    We need better screening of who gets hired as law enforcement officers... The recent history of police maiming and killing unarmed civilians is proof that too many officers get hired who have poor judgement at best, and racist tendencies...
    Like (32)
    Follow
    Share
    This should be for everyone, but every step on that path should be approved.
    Like (11)
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    Allowing law enforcement agencies to support mental health and wellness programs shows their positive, proactive desire to handle many difficulties in a positive way. They are supported as heroes, reduces fear of police by citizens, while supporting them in their work.
    Like (10)
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    And hey -- crazy thought here -- let's add in some deescalation training here, and some ethics and negotiation skills as well, so that maybe we'll wind up with fewer cops appointing themselves judge, jury, and executioner for American Citizens Who Happen To Frighten Them On A Racial Level. Let's do that too, while we're doing all this other stuff.
    Like (7)
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    As a firefighter I will happily support any legislation that benefits our brothers and sisters in blue. With that being said, Congress should be focused on enacting legislation that addresses the larger mental health issues in this country that lead to many of these situations that first responders must deal with, many times resulting in PTSD. Many first responders already have systems in place to deal with PTSD, suicidal thoughts and substance abuse unlike the majority of our at risk population...
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    The is simply an attempt to appear to be doing something about the growing mental healthcare crisis. Essentially, it is to create 📝 paperwork. Congress would then need to be TRUSTWORTHY TO DO SOMETHING with the reports. And Congress is definitely NOT TRUSTWORTHY. PS A lack of mental healthcare services DECREASES THE BIRTHRATE. This may come as a surprise to our GOP, who has access to quality healthcare, but depression DECREASES libido in both sexes.
    Like (5)
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    I’m confused. Paying for Mental health programs for law enforcement? Shouldn’t we spend money on programs that screen people who want to be law enforcement officers before they are okayed for those positions? And while we’re at it, we should also screen Presidential candidates as well as sitting presidents.
    Like (5)
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    While I support this effort, the end goal should be to provide such services to all Americans. Profession shouldn’t dictate who gets these “privileges”. If we are going to use tax dollars to help those who choose law enforcement, we should do the same for the tax payers as well.
    Like (4)
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    This is the first step then we expand to provide for all citizens. Law enforcement officers with mental health issues are a danger to themselves, other officers, and the public.
    Like (3)
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    Why is this an issue that requires judicial attention when there are on average 20 veterans a day committing suicide?
    Like (3)
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    Everyone should be included in this bill.
    Like (3)
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    I say no only because everyone should have access not just a select group. Don't get me wrong our law enforcement community needs this help, but all groups do. We ALL need help given what is going on with our morons in the government!
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    I think that mental health services may be available to these professionals as part of their insurance benefits. If so, this would be a waste of taxpayer funds. If not, the question remains- would these folks avail themselves of the proffered services, or would it be seen as a weakness that impinges upon professionalism? Until there’s an answer, perhaps some research is warranted.
    Like (3)
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    Absolutely law enforcement should periodically have mental health examinations. Too often we hear about questionable shootings by the police. If I had to see what they see every single day, I would certainly want a mental health evaluation.
    Like (3)
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    They need as much help as possible.
    Like (2)
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    Not only should officers have mental health resources but they would also benefit from being trained in how to approach and talk with people that have mental health problems.
    Like (2)
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    With such a stressful and potentially traumatic profession, it seems clear that supporting the mental and emotional well-being of law enforcement officers is a worthy investment in community. Please support.
    Like (2)
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