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Washington Report – Jan. 16, 2018

Posted by: Jennifer Gomori Posted date: January 24, 2018

In a victory for NAPO and officers across the country, President Trump signed the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act into law (Public Law No. 115-113) on Jan. 10. The Act will help law enforcement agencies establish or enhance mental health care services for officers by making grants available to initiate peer mentoring pilot programs, developing resources for mental health providers based on the specific mental health challenges faced by law enforcement, and supporting law enforcement officers by studying the effectiveness of crisis hotlines and annual mental health checks; NAPO filed Amicus Curiae Briefs on officer immunity in two use of force cases. In Rogers Vann v. City of Southhaven, narcotics officers in Southhaven, Mississippi had boxed in the automobile of a drug dealer in an attempt to arrest him. The driver of the drug dealer’s car attempted to escape, striking one officer and knocking him to the ground. The drug dealer’s car then drove toward the downed officer a second time, and officers fired at the auto, striking and killing the driver.  In the second case, Texas v. Kleinert, NAPO and our member organization, the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT), sided with Austin, Texas Officer Charles Kleinert, who was asserting federal immunity from state criminal prosecution because he was working as part of a federal task force when he was involved in a shooting; NAPO secured a significant victory in 2017 with the enactment of the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) Improvement Act, which improves the case determination process and protects the ability of families and officers to receive death and disability benefits. However, we know that families of fallen officers still struggle to make ends meet after such a tragedy, so we continue to work to ensure that the benefits received meet the needs of the families of those officers killed or severely disabled in the line of duty. NAPO is collaborating with Congressman Raul Ruiz (D-CA) on legislation to increase the PSOB death, disability and education benefits. For more on these and other legislative updates, please click on the January 16, 2018 Washington Report and related links below.

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