AG Slatery and AG Racine Lead Bipartisan Coalition Calling on Congress to Provide First Responders with Benefits for Work-Related PTSD

Monday, April 25, 2022 | 12:20pm

Nashville- Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III and District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine today led a bipartisan coalition of 53 attorneys general urging Congress to pass The Public Safety Officer Support Act of 2022. The legislation addresses gaps in support for public safety officers who become disabled by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or lose their lives to trauma-linked suicide. U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced the legislation.

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.

“Those who serve and protect us by putting their own lives at risk deserve to know help is available,” said Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III. “This legislation will provide essential support for officers and their families suffering from trauma experienced in the line of duty.”

“Every day our first responders work to keep our communities safe,” said General Racine. “They risk their physical and mental health to protect District residents in often difficult, dangerous, and stressful situations. But tragically, many struggle to access mental health care, and the families of those who die by suicide are deprived of benefits. Now, our strong bipartisan coalition of attorneys general across the country is urging Congress to quickly pass Senator Duckworth’s and Senator Cornyn’s critical legislation and take care of those who take care of us.”

"Much like our troops who have served in combat, members of our law enforcement community also carry with them invisible wounds inflicted by traumatic incidents experienced in the line of duty," said Senator Cornyn. "That's why it's critical these men and women have easy access to mental health resources and families of officers who have died by suicide receive the benefits they are entitled to. This important bill will offer both support as well as closure to those who need it, and I'm proud to join Sen. Duckworth in introducing this legislation."

“It’s a tragedy that the families of the police officers and first responders who died by suicide after putting their own safety on the line to keep us safe are struggling to get their loved ones’ deaths to be recognized as deaths in the line of duty,” said Senator Duckworth. “That’s why I introduced my bipartisan legislation that would provide so many grieving families with the acknowledgement and support they need after their tragic losses. I’m proud and honored that more than 50 state and territorial Attorneys General—both Democrats and Republicans—have co-signed a letter of support for my bill and I’m hopeful their voices can help convince my colleagues that this should pass quickly.”

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.

To read the letter, click here:


#22-11:  AG Slatery and AG Racine Lead Bipartisan Coalition Calling on Congress to Provide First Responders with Benefits for Work-Related PTSD