Dear Representative Harder,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our support for H.R. 4911, the “Supporting the Health and Safety of Law Enforcement Act.”
Recent studies show that one in every ten calls for police response involve a person suffering from a mental illness, and that one in three people transported to a hospital emergency room for psychiatric reasons are taken by the police. Given their nature, these calls carry a higher risk of injury for both the officers and the individuals in question.
Your legislation would fund a pilot program that would place social workers within law enforcement agencies. Having trained and licensed social workers working side by side with our nation’s law enforcement and corrections officers will help them better recognize and respond appropriately to behavioral health crises caused by mental illness and substance abuse.
On behalf of the more than 373,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I thank you 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.