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Dingell Supports Bills to Expand Mental Health Benefits, Improve Training for Law Enforcement Officers

WASHINGTON, D.C. - During National Police Week, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) voted in support of two bipartisan bills to expand law enforcement officer’s access to mental health services, and to better train law enforcement for interactions with individuals suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“Our first responders have always had a tough job, and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve asked more from them than ever before,” said Dingell. “The legislation we passed will guarantee that first responders and their families get their benefits without delay and will better prepare law enforcement officers to identify symptoms of TBI and PTSD so they can properly assist individuals who are suffering from them. These men and women work hard to keep our communities safe and they deserve access to proper training and benefits.”

The Public Safety Officer Support Act would expand eligibility for the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) program to include stress and trauma-related injuries and death by suicide for law enforcement officers and their families. The PSOB program provides financial support to the families of firefighters, police officers, chaplains and emergency medical technicians who die in the line of duty or who have been permanently disabled because of a physical injury, including physical ailments that result from the stress of the job such as heart attacks.

The TBI/PTSD Law Enforcement Training Act would require the Department of Justice to develop crisis intervention training tools for law enforcement agencies so that they can better equip officers to respond to individuals with traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Congresswoman Dingell is a member of the Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus, which seeks to address issues affecting the law enforcement community in a bipartisan manner.
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