Dear Representatives Kaptur and Bice,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you both of our support for H.R. 3501, the “Law Enforcement Training for Mental Health Crisis Response Act.”
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 law enforcement. Improving the available training for officers responding to calls like these would reduce the risk of injury to both the officers and the individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis.
Your bill addresses an urgent need to provide our nation’s law enforcement and corrections officers with the necessary training to better recognize and respond appropriately to behavioral health crises caused by mental illness and substance abuse.
Our officers can and will respond to these calls for service with care, compassion, and professionalism. While we have come a long way in our ability to handle these incidents safely and effectively, our members need the training and resources this legislation provides.
On behalf of the more than 373,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I thank you both for your leadership on this issue. If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco in our Washington, D.C. office.