April 5, 2019

Whitehouse, Hawley Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Support Law Enforcement Community, Prevent Officer Suicides

Both Whitehouse and Hawley previously served as chief state law enforcement officers

Washington, D.C. – Suicide is the number one cause of death for police officers in the United States.  But Congress has failed to fund grant programs that provide support services for police officers and their families.  Current grant programs also do not allow funds to be used for suicide prevention efforts, mental health screenings, or training to identify officers at risk.

U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) have introduced the bipartisan Supporting and Treating Officers In Crisis Act of 2019 to restore grant funding for law enforcement family-support services.  The bill also allows grant recipients to use funds to establish suicide prevention programs and mental health services for law enforcement officers.

Both Senators Whitehouse and Hawley served as the chief law enforcement officers for their respective states before entering Congress. 

“The things that police officers and firefighters see at accidents and crime scenes can be horrifying, and they often face terrible danger,” said Whitehouse.  “Helping them process and deal with the things they must bear to protect the rest of us is an important duty we owe.”

Every day law enforcement demonstrates tremendous bravery in protecting us from the worst of humanity, but it often takes a toll,” said Hawley.  “Police work is physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding. This legislation will provide much-needed support to the heroes that keep us safe.” 

The National Sheriffs’ Association, Major County Sheriffs of America, National Association of Police Organizations, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and National District Attorneys Association have endorsed this legislation.

Full text of the bill can be found here.


Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921