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U.S. Representative Val Demings

Representing the 10th District of Florida

Rep. Demings' Law Enforcement Mental Health Bill Signed Into Law

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January 11, 2018
Press Release

ORLANDO, FL – Yesterday, President Trump signed the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act of 2017, a bipartisan bill originally introduced last April by Rep. Demings (D-FL-10), Rep. Brooks (R-IN-5), Rep. Collins (R-GA-9), Rep. Pascrell (D-NJ-9), and Rep. Reichert (R-WA-8).

Said Rep. Demings, “I am gratified that the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act of 2017 is now law.

“As a former Chief of Police with 27 years in law enforcement, I did everything I could to protect my officers from dangerous situations. But the reality is that this is a dangerous job. Our law enforcement officers are at risk of physical and mental trauma every time they put on the uniform.

“We cannot ask our officers to do this work while failing to cope with the consequences. We must take care of them so they can take care of us. This important piece of legislation will ensure that agencies are better equipped and officers have any mental health support they need.”

 Background

The Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act of 2017 directs the Department of Justice, Department of Defense, and the Department of Veterans Affairs to develop resources to equip local law enforcement agencies to address mental health challenges faced by officers. The bill would also make grants available to initiate peer mentoring pilot programs, develop training for mental health providers specific to law enforcement mental health needs, and support law enforcement officers by studying the effectiveness of crisis hotlines and annual mental health checks.

This legislation was supported by the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the National Association of Police Officers (NAPO), the Major County Sheriffs of America (MCSA), the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA), and the Sergeants Benevolent Association.

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