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Ossoff joins with Republicans to push $270 million in police funding for traumatic brain injury trainings

FIRST ON FOX: Sens. Jon Ossoff, Chuck Grassley and John Kennedy Thursday are introducing a bipartisan bill to train police officers in how deal with people who have traumatic brain injuries, aiming to help “de-escalate” those situations more effectively. 

The bill, called the “TBI and PTSD Law Enforcement Training Act,” would appropriate $270 million over five years for programs that provide no-cost trainings for police to help them deal with mental health crises. 

“Improved training for law enforcement officers to handle cases of post-traumatic stress or head trauma will improve public safety, support mental health, and reduce the devastation of severe brain injuries,” Ossoff, D-Ga., said in a statement. 

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The push for more police funding coincides with National Police Week and as major cities across the U.S. struggle to deal with crime.

The bill is supported by several major law enforcement agencies, including the Georgia Fraternal Order of Police and the National Fraternal Order of Police. 

The bill notes that millions of Americans suffer from PTSD and TBI, and that the conditions are “the signature injuries” of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will also create a surveillance program for first responders’ concussions. 

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Sen. Charles Grassley speaks to the media at the Capitol on April 25, 2022.

“Law enforcement officers sometimes encounter individuals experiencing a mental health crisis,” Major Cities Chiefs Association executive director Laura Cooper said. “The tools and training included in the TBI and PTSD Law Enforcement Training Act will help officers respond to and resolve these calls for service as safely as possible.”

“It’s important that our police and all first responders are empowered with the resources they need to address a variety of emergencies, including incidents that involve people with traumatic brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder,” Grassley, R-Iowa, added. “Our legislation would provide departments with crisis intervention tools that can help de-escalate situations and improve outcomes for everyone involved.”

Three senators are proposing legislation to fund police trainings to help deal with people who have PTSD and TBI. 

It’s not clear if or when the legislation will get a vote in the Senate, but there’s a companion bill in the House of Representatives that’s supported by a bipartisan coalition as well. 

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