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Clay

Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act of 2017

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Posted (edited)

115th CONGRESS

 

Senator Clay of Indiana, with thanks to Senator Donnelly of Indiana, introduce to the Senate,

AN ACT

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

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act of 2017.

2.

Support for law enforcement agencies

(a) Interagency collaboration

The Attorney General shall consult with the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to submit to Congress a report, which shall be made publicly available, on Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs mental health practices and services that could be adopted by Federal, State, local, or tribal law enforcement agencies.

(b) Case studies

The Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services shall submit to Congress a report—

        (1)that is similar to the report entitled Health, Safety, and Wellness Program Case Studies in Law Enforcementpublished by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services in 2015; and         (2)that focuses on case studies of programs designed primarily to address officer psychological health and well-being. (c)Peer mentoring pilot program

Section 1701(b) of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3796dd(b)) is amended—

(1) in paragraph (21), by striking ; and and inserting a semicolon; (2) in paragraph (22), by striking the period at the end and inserting ; and; and (3) by adding at the end the following:

(23)

to establish peer mentoring mental health and wellness pilot programs within State, tribal, and local law enforcement agencies.

 

3. Support for mental health providers

The Attorney General, in coordination with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, shall develop resources to educate mental health providers about the culture of Federal, State, tribal, and local law enforcement agencies and evidence-based therapies for mental health issues common to Federal, State, local, and tribal law enforcement officers.

4. Support for officers

The Attorney General shall—

(1) in consultation with Federal, State, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies—      (A) identify and review the effectiveness of any existing crisis hotlines for law enforcement officers;      (B)  provide recommendations to Congress on whether Federal support for existing crisis hotlines or the creation of an alternative hotline would improve the                              effectiveness or use of the hotline; and      (C) conduct research into the efficacy of an annual mental health check for law enforcement officers;

(2) in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security and the head of other Federal agencies that employ law enforcement officers, examine the mental health and wellness needs of Federal law enforcement officers, including the efficacy of expanding peer mentoring programs for law enforcement officers at each Federal agency; and 

(3) ensure that any recommendations, resources, or programs provided under this Act protect the privacy of participating law enforcement officers.

 

Quote

(Sec. 2) This bill directs the Department of Justice (DOJ) to report on Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs mental health practices and services that could be adopted by law enforcement agencies.

Additionally, DOJ's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services must report on programs to address the psychological health and well-being of law enforcement officers.

The bill amends the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to expand the allowable use of grant funds under the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program to include establishing peer mentoring mental health and wellness pilot programs within state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies.

(Sec. 3) DOJ must coordinate with the Department of Health and Human Services to develop educational resources for mental health providers regarding the culture of law enforcement agencies and therapies for mental health issues common to law enforcement officers.

(Sec. 4) DOJ must also: (1) review existing crisis hotlines, recommend improvements, and research annual mental health checks; (2) examine the mental health and wellness needs of federal officers; and (3) ensure that recommendations, resources, or programs under this bill protect the privacy of participating officers.

 

 

Edited by Clay

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Posted (edited)

We will now begin debate on this bill. Debate shall last till cloture is invoked.

Edited by Storm

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Mr. President,

 

This bill would work to improve the mental health of our police officers, and create strategies that could help officers receive the treatment they need to overcome certain mental health issues. This is a very important piece of legislation, and I believe that there is nothing objectionable in attempting to help police officers receive treatment for mental health problems. I hope everyone will join me in supporting this bill, so I motion for unanimous consent. 

 

I yield. 

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The House approves the bill on a voice vote after a one-sided debate in which numerous members of both parties argue in support and thank the sponsors in the Senate.

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Mr. President,

 

The following bill has passed in both houses of Congress, and is presented for your signature.

 

/s/ Pete Sessions, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives

/s/ Osiris Storm, President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate

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