Congress Decisions that Affect the DOJ

Congress passed the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act of 2017 which directs the Department of Justice (DOJ) to report on Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs mental health practices and services that could be adopted by law enforcement agencies. Additionally, DOJ’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services must report on programs to address the psychological health and well-being of law enforcement officers.
The bill amends the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to expand the allowable use of grant funds under the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program to include establishing peer mentoring mental health and wellness pilot programs within state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies.
DOJ must coordinate with the Department of Health and Human Services to develop educational resources for mental health providers regarding the culture of law enforcement agencies and therapies for mental health issues common to law enforcement officers.
DOJ must also: (1) review existing crisis hotlines, recommend improvements, and research annual mental health checks; (2) examine the mental health and wellness needs of federal officers; and (3) ensure that recommendations, resources, or programs under this bill protect the privacy of participating officers.

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