Attorney General Josh Stein calls for federal support for public safety officers and families

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today urged Congress to pass the Public Safety Officers Support Act of 2022. The legislation fills gaps in support for public safety officers who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) associated with the high-risk nature of their jobs.

“Most people instinctively run away from a crisis,” Attorney General Josh Stein said. “Public safety officers accept a job that requires them to meet one directly. The work is not only dangerous, but also incredibly stressful. We owe it to them to provide the care they need to continue to keep our communities safe. I urge Congress to pass this legislation and help protect the officers who protect us.

Public safety officers, including law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians, respond to stressful and potentially traumatic situations. Compared to the general public, they are 25.6 times more likely to develop PTSD. Research shows that people with PTSD are at an increased risk of suicide.

The legislation designates work-related PTSD as an “on-duty” injury for eligible officers and those disabled from attempted suicide and allows families of officers who die by trauma-related suicide to apply for death benefits.

Attorney General Stein is joined in sending this letter by a bipartisan coalition of 53 attorneys general and is also endorsed by the American Psychological Association, Fraternal Order of Police, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, National Association of Police Organizations, Sergeants benevolent Association, National Sheriffs Association, Blue HELP, the National Border Patrol Council and the United States Capitol Police Labor Committee.

A copy of the letter is available here.

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Susan W. Lloyd