Missouri US Senator Josh Hawley introduced a bill Wednesday to help stop police suicides. The “Supporting and Treating Officers in Crisis Act” would allocate $7.5 million a year for the next five years to suicide-prevention programs that have gone without funding since 2000. This would also fund mental-health screenings and training to identify those officers who may be more at risk for suicide.
The new bill is already getting support from both sides of the aisle, including Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii.
Hawley’s office says that stress, trauma and suicide are major issues in law enforcement. The CDC says that the suicide rate among law-enforcement officers and firefighters is 40 percent higher than the national average. A study says that more officers die from suicide than those who die in the line of duty.