Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) to support a bipartisan bill that restores up to $7,500,000 in expired grant funding for law enforcement family support services. The Supporting and Treating Officers in Crisis (STOIC) Act of 2019 allows grant recipients to use funds to establish suicide prevention programs and mental health services for law enforcement officers.
“Nevada’s heroic law enforcement faithfully serve and protect our communities. Yet the strain of their daily work can oftentimes be overlooked. That’s why I’m proud to support legislation that provides critical resources to our hard-working officers, including family services, stress reduction and suicide prevention. I’ll do all I can to honor their sacrifices and bravery, and ensure that they have every support they need to protect our communities and thrive.”
In addition to Senators Cortez Masto and Hawley, U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Shelley Capito (R-W.Va.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) also cosponsored this bill.
Suicide is the number one cause of death for police officers in the United States. Studies show law enforcement officers face above-average stress levels in their jobs, especially when responding to felonies and dealing with family disputes and crisis situations.
The STOIC Act reforms and expands the family support grant program’s eligible uses to better address the mental health and support needs of law enforcement officers, especially as it relates to suicide preventions. The bill reauthorizes appropriations totaling up to $7,500,000 for fiscal years 2020 and 2024 for family support grants for state and local law enforcement agencies, which lapsed in 2000.