Brown introduces bill to improve law enforcement training

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 21, 2021

Senator honors fallen office in floor speech

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, during National Police Week, took to the Senate Floor last week to honor fallen officers and recommit to securing critical resources and providing support for law enforcement in Ohio and their families.

Police Week is an annual event honoring law enforcement officers and their families and serving as a remembrance of officers who have died in the line of duty. Brown is also set to introduce bipartisan legislation to improve police training, along with U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, John Boozman, R-Arkansas, Thom Tillis, R-North Carolina, Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota, Jon Tester, D-Montana, and Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania.

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“In addition to their general public safety duties, police officers are often asked to respond to mental health crises, defuse domestic disputes, and even manage addiction and homelessness in high-stakes situations without adequate training to handle the situation,” Brown said. “ When our law enforcement officers have the training and resources they need to respond to mental health crises, we can better ensure the safety of our first responders, individuals in crisis, and members of our communities.”

The Law Enforcement Training For Mental Health Crisis Response Act of 2021 would provide $15 million in funding over 3 years through the U.S. Department of Justice to help train police on how to best interact with individuals with mental health illnesses and resolve and de-escalate any potential issues that may arise.

The goal of the bill is to improve training for these types of responses to better keep our officers safe, ensure individuals in crisis are treated with dignity, and improve trust amongst the communities affected.

Brown has been a leader in police reform legislation. Last year, Senator Brown helped introduce the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, a comprehensive package that puts important policing reforms into place, helps ends racial profiling in the criminal justice system and works to improve police-community relations.

Brown has also cosponsored legislation, the End Racial and Religious Profiling Act, to better enforce equal protection laws and work to end racial profiling in the criminal justice system.