Washington, DC - Patrick Yoes, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, welcomed news that S. 4003, the “Law Enforcement De-Escalation Training Act,” was passed by the House last night.
“The FOP played a key role in developing this bill, and we’re proud of the work we did to get it over the finish line as this Congress comes to a close,” Yoes said.
The House considered and passed S. 4003 on a 264-162 vote. The bill, which passed the Senate by unanimous consent in August, will now be sent to the President, who is expected to sign it into law. The legislation requires the U.S. Department of Justice to work with State and local law enforcement agencies, professional law enforcement organizations and law enforcement labor organizations and others to develop or identify scenario-based mental health training curricula on issues like de-escalation and response approaches to individuals experiencing a mental or behavioral health crisis. Once this training has been developed, the bill authorizes funding for State and local law enforcement agencies that wish to receive it.
“According to recent studies, one in ten calls for service to law enforcement involve a person suffering from a mental illness. One in three people taken to a hospital emergency room for psychiatric reasons are transported there by a law enforcement officer,” Yoes explained. “While our officers respond to these calls for service with care, compassion, and professionalism, the resources this legislation provides will help ensure that they have the skills needed to handle these interactions safely for all parties—ensuring that these Americans, who are suffering from a mental illness, receive the safe and quality response from law enforcement they deserve.”
“On behalf of our membership, I would like to thank the bill’s sponsors, Senators John Cornyn and Sheldon Whitehouse for their hard work and leadership on this important issue.”
The House also considered and passed another bill strongly supported by the FOP, S. 5230, the “Help Find the Missing Act." This legislation, which passed the Senate by unanimous consent last week, passed the House yesterday on a 418-4 vote. Currently, the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), is the only database that can be accessed and added to by the public and there is no way to cross-reference this data with the information in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). This legislation would address this issue by authorizing funding for NamUs and connect it to NCIC. This will create a more complete missing and unidentified persons database, expand the resources available for law enforcement and close an unnecessary gap in our missing persons databases. The bill will be sent to the President, who is expected to sign it into law.