(PRESS RELEASE/Washington State House Republicans)
‘The health and wellness of our law enforcement officers should be just as important as their training and safety,’ says Maycumber…
Under a proposal moving through the legislative process in Olympia, law enforcement officers around the state would have more access to programs designed to help them cope with some of the more traumatizing situations they encounter.
“Our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line for our families each and every day. They are often interacting with people in difficult situations or experiencing things that most of us can’t even imagine,” said Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber, R-Republic and sponsor of the measure. “While some of our larger law enforcement entities have programs and support networks in place to help officers process and deal with these situations, many departments do not.
“My bill will help ensure that every man or woman who puts on the uniform has the same access to critical incident stress programs, no matter where they serve,” said Maycumber, a former law enforcement officer. “The health and wellness of our law enforcement officers should be just as important as their training and safety.”
House Bill 2926 would require the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) to inventory current critical incident stress management programs in Washington and expand access to these programs for all law enforcement.
The WASPC would then be required to provide a preliminary report of its findings by July 21, 2021 and a formal report to the Legislature by July 1, 2022.
“Statistics show that an officer is more likely to die by their own hand than in the official line of duty,” said Maycumber. “However, cop suicides are line of duty deaths. We need to give law enforcement effective support and assistance to ensure they get home to their families, healthy, whole and appreciated.”
Maycumber’s bill unanimously passed the House Appropriations Committee and awaits further action by the full House of Representatives.
The 60-day 2020 legislative session is scheduled to end March 12.