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Senators introduce bipartisan legislation to provide funding for law enforcement de-escalation and crisis intervention training

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    Senators introduce bipartisan legislation to provide funding for law enforcement de-escalation and crisis intervention training

    On April 5, U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) introduced the Law Enforcement De-Escalation Training Act (S.4003). The bill would create a dedicated funding stream within the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) Program for state and local law enforcement agencies to train their officers – and the mental health professionals who work alongside them – in de-escalation tactics, interacting with individuals experiencing a mental, behavioral or suicidal crises and alternatives to use of force.

    Specifically, the legislation would:

    • Require DOJ’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) to develop curricula in consultation with law enforcement, mental health organizations, family advocacy organizations, and civil liberties groups, among other stakeholders;
    • Authorize $70 million in annual grant funding for training, including scenario-based exercises and evaluative assessments;
    • Require the National Institute of Justice and the Government Accountability Office to evaluate the implementation of the program, ensure that the curricula has a tangible impact on law enforcement encounters with people in crisis, and identify possible changes that would further improve outcomes.

    NACo has endorsed the legislation and will continue to advocate for its final passage, as it would ensure our law enforcement agencies have the training and resources necessary to address and safely respond to the needs of our residents.

    On April 5, U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) introduced the Law Enforcement De-Escalation Training Act (S.4003).
    2022-04-11
    Blog
    2022-04-11

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