MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Josh Kaul, along with a bipartisan coalition of 53 attorneys general, is urging Congress to pass The Public Safety Officer Support Act of 2022. The legislation addresses gaps in support for public safety officers who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) associated with the high-risk nature of their jobs.
“Law enforcement officers and other public safety professionals often face high-risk, traumatic situations while working to protect the safety of others,” said AG Kaul. “We must ensure that officers and their families receive the support they need when trauma linked to their service results in suicide or a disability.”
In the letter, the attorneys general praise the work of public safety officers including police, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians who respond to stressful and potentially traumatic situations. Compared to the general public, they are 25.6 times more likely to develop PTSD and research shows those suffering from PTSD are at increased risk of suicide.
The legislation supports public safety officers suffering from PTSD by:
- Designating work-related PTSD as a “line-of duty” injury for eligible officers and those disabled from attempted suicide.
- Allowing families of officers who die by trauma-linked suicide to apply for death benefits.
This legislation is also endorsed by the American Psychological Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, National Association of Police Organizations, Sergeants benevolent Association, National Sheriffs Association, Blue H.E.L.P, the National Border Patrol Council, and the United States Capitol Police Labor Committee.
Wisconsin is joined in supporting this legislation by the Attorney Generals from Alaska, American Samoa, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
To read the letter, click here.
Find the press release online here.