Pascrell police defunding bill passes House and Senate

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Pascrell police defunding bill passes House and Senate

Authorizes $270 million for Collaborative Justice and Mental Health Program and funds new police training on brain injuries and PTSD

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) today welcomed the passage in the Senate of his legislation, the TBI and PTSD Law Enforcement Training Act (HR 2992). The legislation authorizes $270 million over five years to reauthorize the Justice and Mental Health Collaborative Program (JMHCP) and funds a new police training program pushed by Pascrell to help law enforcement and first responders to better recognize and respond to people with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The legislation will now go to President Joe Biden’s desk to become law.

“Despite what some say, Democrats are funding our police. Our bill, which is about to become law, ensures that first responders will be equipped to help people with mental illness,” said Rep. Pascrell, who leads both the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force and the Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus. “For years, the Collaborative Justice and Mental Health Program has funded training, crisis intervention programs and community partnerships. My bill reauthorizes this essential program for half a decade and creates a new training program to help our first responders help people with TBI, PTSD and other trauma-related conditions. By funding a study at the CDC on the incidence of traumatic brain injury among first responders, my bill also takes an important step in improving the lives of public safety officers struggling with the often debilitating symptoms of brain injury. traumatic. I appreciate the work of Senator Ossoff and Senator Grassley in moving this important bill forward. I would also like to thank Presidents Pallone and Nadler for their constant efforts. I look forward to President Biden signing these changes into law because it will help save lives in every community in America.

Rep. Pascrell introduced the TBI and PTSD Law Enforcement Training Act last year with Reps. John Rutherford (R-FL-04), Don Bacon (R-NE-02) and Val Demings (D -FL-10). This legislation is being led in the Senate by Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA). The House Judiciary Committee advanced the legislation on May 11, and the House of Representatives passed the bill on May 19 during National Police Week.

The JMHCP funds programs to support people with mental illnesses or substance use disorders who come into contact with the justice system. By reauthorizing the JMHCP to $54 million a year through 2027, an increased level, this bipartisan bill will fund training programs for first responders, crisis response teams, mental health courts and other programs that help law enforcement help people with mental illness.

The bill will also fund new training to help first responders better recognize and help people with PTSD or TBI, which contribute to an estimated three million emergency room visits, hospitalizations and deaths each year. About 8% of Americans will experience PTSD at some point in their lives, and approximately 8 million adults experience PTSD in any given year. Developing and implementing training programs that provide information on recognizing the signs and symptoms of TBI and PTSD can help improve emergency response, public and first responder safety, and interactions between first responders and people with these conditions.

Finally, the bill authorizes a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to better understand the prevalence of TBI and PTSD among law enforcement officers and first responders in our countries and to recommend resources.

The TBI and PTSD Law Enforcement Training Act is supported by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME); Fraternal Order of Police (FOP); Federal Association of Law Enforcement Officers (FLEOA); Major City Chiefs Association (MCCA); Major County Sheriffs of America (MCSA); National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO); National Coalition of Narcotics Officers Associations (NNOAC); National Sheriffs Association (NSA); NYPD Sergeants’ Benevolent Association (SBA); National District Attorneys Association (NDAA); National Association of Heads of State Injury Administrators (NASHIA); Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA); and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

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