Missouri Senators introduce bill to help reduce police officer suicides
WASHINGTON, D.C - Missouri senators Josh Hawley and Roy Blunt have revealed a new bill helping track law enforcement suicides.
According to a news release, the bill, titled The Law Enforcement Suicide Data Collection Act, requires the FBI to collect voluntary data on police suicides and attempted police suicides. The data will remain anonymous and will be received from local, state and federal agencies. Collecting this data will help inform policy solutions to prevent law enforcement suicides.
“Every day law enforcement officers walk into the line of fire to protect our communities,” Hawley said in the news release. “But the trauma they experience can take a heavy toll on those brave men and women who keep us safe. This bill takes positive steps toward getting our men and women in blue the support they deserve in order to heal and recover.”
2018 was the third straight year in which police suicides outnumbered line-of-duty deaths. Nationally, there have been 167 deaths due to police officer suicide, according to the release.
Participating law enforcement agencies will report information on suicides within their agency to the FBI, including:
- Circumstances and events that occurred before each suicide or attempted suicide;
- Location of each suicide or attempted suicide;
- Demographic information of each law enforcement officer who dies by suicide or attempts suicide;
- Occupational category for each law enforcement officer who dies by suicide or attempts suicide; and
- Method used in each suicide or attempted suicide.
The bill also includes Senators Catherine Cortez Masto from Nevada and Chris Coons of Delaware.