Bill Would Train Officers to Respond Effectively to Mental Health, Behavioral Health, and Substance Use Crises
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan joined a bipartisan group of her colleagues in introducing legislation to help law enforcement respond effectively to people experiencing mental or behavioral health crises. The bill would improve training for police officers interacting with individuals dealing with mental or behavior health issues, including using alternatives to force and de-escalation tactics and working with mental health professionals on crisis intervention teams. It would also empower police and the mental health professionals working with them to link individuals to mental and behavioral health services in their community.
“Our brave law enforcement officers are asked to respond to a wide variety of calls, and they must have the training that they need to manage any situation that they face,” Senator Hassan said. “When it comes to those with mental health challenges, it is particularly important that officers can recognize the signs and de-escalate the situation swiftly. This bipartisan bill will help ensure that police have the tools and training to respond to a mental health crisis, and I will keep working to build support for it.”
Senator Hassan is committed to providing law enforcement officers with the support that they need. Last week, Senator Hassan joined her colleagues in introducing legislation to gather greater information on attacks targeting law enforcement and pushed to increase funding for state and local law enforcement. Earlier this year, Senator Hassan cosponsored a bill to ensure that all federal law enforcement officers receive the same retirement benefits as their peers in similar positions. Additionally, former President Trump previously signed into law bipartisan legislation cosponsored by Senator Hassan to help prevent law enforcement suicide and strengthen mental health services for law enforcement officers.