WASHINGTON, DC, May 16, 2023: Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) and Congresswoman Stephanie Bice (OK-05) introduced the Law Enforcement Training for Mental Health Crisis Response Act of 2023. The bipartisan bill would provide grants to law enforcement departments at the state, local, territorial, and tribal level to obtain vital behavioral health crisis response training to resolve behavioral health crisis situations more safely and effectively. Funding for this training would be authorized under the Byrne JAG program funding.
“As we recognize National Police Week, our nation owes a deep debt of gratitude to the law enforcement and corrections officers who respond to volatile and often dangerous situations involving people at their most vulnerable,” said Congresswoman Kaptur. “Officers deserve all of the training and resources we can provide to help them effectively and safely handle behavioral health crises to protect themselves and the public they serve.”
This legislation is supported by the Fraternal Order of Police and the International Union of Police Associations. Additional House original cosponsors include Representatives Julia Brownley (CA-26), Troy Carter (LA-02), Dina Titus (NV-01), and Greg Landsmen (OH-01).
The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) program, administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, supplies grants to local law enforcement entities for public safety initiatives. Grants created under this bill will be managed through Byrne JAG Prevention and Education programming.
Byrne JAG grants are always distributed to supplement available State and local grants and never to supplant them. Law enforcement officers are often the first responders to behavioral health crises. One in every 10 calls for police response involve a person suffering from a mental illness; 1 in every 4 people killed by police suffer from a mental health problem; 1 in 3 people transported to a hospital emergency room for psychiatric reasons are taken by the police.