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2018 SB 278: An Act Concerning Mental Health Care And Wellness Training And Suicide Prevention For Police Officers.

Sponsors

  • Buckbee, Bill
  • Boyd, Patrick S.
  • Winkler, Michael
  • Green, Robin
  • Osten, Catherine A.
  • Hampton, John K.
  • Conley, Christine
  • McGorty, Ben
  • Tweedie, Mark
  • Klarides, Themis
  • Guerrera, Antonio
  • Young, Philip L.
  • Somers, Heather B.
  • Klarides-Ditria, Nicole
  • de la Cruz, Joe
  • Witkos, Kevin D.
  • Ohler, Brian M.
  • Scanlon, Sean
  • Gresko, Joseph P.
  • Hwang, Tony
  • Albis, James M.
  • Arconti, David
  • Fusco, John
  • Sredzinski, J.P.
  • Linehan, Liz
  • Godfrey, Bob
  • Berthel, Eric C.
  • Vargas, Edwin
  • Lesser, Matthew

Actions

2018-02-28 upper
2018-03-02 upper
2018-03-16 upper
2018-03-19 upper
2018-03-29 upper
2018-04-05 upper
2018-04-05 upper
2018-04-05 upper
2018-04-05 upper

Bill Text

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) For the purposes of this section, "police officer" has the same meaning as provided in section 7-294a of the general statutes, "firefighter" has the same meaning as provided in section 7-313g of the general statutes and "emergency medical services personnel" has the same meaning as provided in section 20-206jj of the general statutes.

(b) No municipality or state agency shall discharge, discipline, discriminate against or otherwise penalize a police officer, a firefighter or an emergency medical services personnel employed by such municipality or state agency because the police officer, the firefighter or the emergency medical services personnel has sought or received mental health care services. The provisions of this subsection shall not be applicable to a police officer, a firefighter or an emergency medical services personnel who seeks or receives mental health care services to avoid discipline by such municipality or state agency.

(c) No municipality or state agency shall discharge, discipline, discriminate against or otherwise penalize a police officer employed by such municipality or state agency because the police officer returns his or her firearm used in the performance of the police officer's duties to such municipality or state agency during the time the police officer receives mental health care services. Such municipality or state agency shall return such firearm to the police officer when the police officer's licensed mental health care provider, psychiatrist or psychologist determines the police officer is ready to report for duty.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) Not later than July 1, 2018, the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection, in consultation with the Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services and at least one advocacy organization that is concerned with the mental health care and wellness of police officers, shall develop and maintain a list of at least thirty licensed mental health care providers in the state that are trained in treating police officers and have expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder in accordance with the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders". The list shall include, but need not be limited to, providers who are trained in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy or any other evidence-based treatment modality and shall be published on the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection's Internet web site.

(b) A police officer, as defined in section 7-294a of the general statutes, who is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder by and receives treatment from a licensed mental health care provider on the list published under subsection (a) of this section, or is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder by and received treatment from a psychiatrist licensed pursuant to chapter 370 of the general statutes or a psychologist licensed pursuant to chapter 383 of the general statutes until such time as such list is published, after the police officer is involved in a shooting or other critical incident, may return to work after the police officer's licensed mental health care provider, psychiatrist or psychologist determines the police officer is ready to report for duty in the same or another capacity, provided the police officer returns to work not later than one year from the date of the shooting or other critical incident.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) Not later than July 1, 2019, the Police Officer Standards and Training Council established under section 7-294b of the general statutes shall develop and promulgate a model critical incident and peer support policy that is consistent with guidelines published by the International Association of Chiefs of Police to support the mental health care and wellness of police officers.

(b) Not later than August 1, 2019, each municipal police department shall (1) adopt and maintain a written policy that meets or exceeds the standards in the model policy developed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, (2) make peer support available to the department's police officers after a shooting or other critical incident, and (3) refer a police officer seeking mental health care services to a licensed mental health care provider on the list published under section 2 of this act.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2018) The Division of State Police within the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection and the Police Officer Standards and Training Council, established under section 7-294b of the general statutes, in consultation with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, shall provide mental health care and wellness training and crisis intervention techniques to police officers hired on or after October 1, 2018, by the division or a municipal police department.

Sec. 5. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) The Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection shall establish and maintain a list of police officers, as defined in section 7-294a of the general statutes, and former police officers who died by suicide on or after the effective date of this section without identifying the names of such police officers or former police officers. The list shall indicate, to the extent known, whether such police officer or former police officers was actively employed, on administrative leave, separated, resigned, terminated or retired from the Division of State Police within the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection or a municipal police department at the time of the suicide.

(b) Each municipal police department shall notify the commissioner when the department knows that a police officer or former police officers who was employed by the department died by suicide on or after the effective date of this section without identifying the name of the police officer or former police officer and indicate, to the extent known, whether such police officer or former police officer was actively employed, on administrative leave, separated, resigned, terminated or retired from the department at the time of the suicide.

In Section 1(b), "seek or receive" was changed to "has sought or received" for clarity, in Section 1(c), ", psychiatrist or psychologist" was inserted before "determines" for consistency and in Section 5, references to former police officers were inserted for accuracy.

Behind the Bill