The TBI and PTSD Law Enforcement Training Act has been signed into law. Originally cosponsored by Senate candidate and current House Legislator, Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) alongside Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), the bill sets aside $270 million over a 5 year period to reaffirm the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program.
The program is dedicating to funding “a new police training program to help law enforcement and first responders better recognize and respond to people suffering from traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder” according to a Demings press release.
“Florida is 49th in the nation on access to mental health care, and it is critical that law enforcement has the training needed to safely handle situation involving people with traumatic brain injuries, PTSD, or other conditions. I was proud to work with Congressman Pascrell and others to stand by our law enforcement officers and ensure that they have the training and resources they need to do their jobs safely and effectively. This new law is good for law enforcement and good for our communities,” said the Florida Congresswoman.
Citing her experience as the former Orlando Chief of Police, Val Demings went on to mention, “As a former social worker and law enforcement officer, I fully understand the need to expand the availability of mental health care for our families and communities because it’s time to get serious about getting our families, friends, and neighbors the support they need.”
The reauthorization of the JMHCP will include a $54 million annual endowment to the program through 2027. According to the release, these funds will go toward “first responder training programs, crisis intervention teams, mental health courts, and other programs that help law enforcement assist individuals experiencing mental illness.”
Demings is challenging incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) for his Senate seat this November.