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Blumenthal Applauds Senate Passage of Legislation Supporting Local Law Enforcement

Blumenthal-sponsored bills will support the recruitment, training & mental health of Connecticut’s first responders

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, applauded Senate passage of a legislative package supporting local law enforcement agencies and officers. The bills – all supported by Blumenthal – would establish mental health programs for first responders suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), invest in recruitment and equipment, improve de-escalation and crisis intervention training, and extend public safety officer benefits to qualified individuals and their families.

“These measures will invest significant resources in Connecticut’s police departments and first responders,” said Blumenthal. “Those bravely protecting and serving our communities deserve the tools and support needed to effectively do their jobs. In countless discussions with police chiefs and law enforcement officers, I heard first-hand the urgent need for bolstered mental health services for those on the front lines. I’m proud to have fought for these initiatives which will not only bolster recruitment, retention and training, but will expand Connecticut’s existing programs, reaching more officers and supporting the mental health and wellness of those struggling with the long-term effects of their heroic service. The federal funds and programs in this package will make a real difference – improving the lives of officers and ensuring our state’s public safety.”  

The package includes several Blumenthal-sponsored bills:

  1. The Fighting Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Act to establish mental health programs for officers facing long term PTSD and acute stress disorder effects from their moments of crisis and life-saving service.
  2. The Invest to Protect Act to provide up to $250 million to support small law enforcement agencies with recruitment, retention, training, equipment, and mental health support over the next five years.
  3. The Strong Communities Act to provide grants for the training of recruits who serve law enforcement agencies in their communities.
  4. The Law Enforcement De-Escalation Training Act to provide funding to train law enforcement and mental health professionals on crisis intervention, de-escalation, and alternative uses of force. 
  5. The Public Safety Officer Support Act to provide public safety officer benefits to those experiencing PTSD and the families of officers in the case of trauma-linked suicide. 

The legislative package was approved unanimously by the Senate on Tuesday, August 1, 2022.