Dear Senators Grassley and Luján,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our support for S. 3981, the “Improving Law Enforcement Officer Safety and Wellness Through Data Act.”
Law enforcement officers in every community across the country are experiencing an increase in violence deliberately targeting them. In 2021, 346 officers were shot in the line of duty, 63 of whom were killed. The lethality of these attacks would have been much greater but for the dramatic improvements in medical trauma science and anti-ballistic technology. The rise in violence targeting officers is impacting officer morale and their mental health.
In an effort to better understand these attacks and support our men and women in law enforcement, your legislation would expand the data collected by the Federal government on attacks and aggressions against law enforcement officers in a comprehensive way. This data would augment the information collected through the Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) program, the Uniform Crime Report (UCR), and the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) in an effort to capture “aggressive actions, conduct, or other trauma-inducing incidents” aimed at officers. This information and recommendations would then be submitted to Congress.
The bill would also require a report to Congress on the types and frequency of mental health and stress responses of law enforcement officers and identify what types of mental health services and support exists within Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies. If we can better identify what services are needed and where these services can be accessed, we can improve the overall mental health of the men and women in law enforcement.
On behalf of the more than 364,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, thank you both for your leadership on this important issue. If I can provide any additional information about this bill, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco in our Washington, D.C. office.