RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Attorney General Jason Miyares has joined 52 other attorneys general in signing a bipartisan letter urging Congress to pass The Public Safety Officer Support Act of 2022.
The proposed legislation would provide further support for public safety officers who suffer from work-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“Police officers, firefighters, and first responders are community heroes that put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe,” Miyares said. “Every day they do their jobs, knowing they are always risking injury, trauma, and even their lives. The Public Safety Officer Support Act of 2022 is the least we can do to support and thank them for their sacrifice. That is why I am urging Congress to pass it immediately and get life-saving aid to those who most deserve it.”
In the letter, the attorneys general praised the efforts of police, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians for their work in responding to stressful and potentially traumatic situations.
Compared to the public, public safety officers are 25.6 times more likely to develop PTSD, according to the letter.
The Public Safety Officer Support Act of 2022 supports public safety officers suffering from PTSD by:
- Designating work-related PTSD as a “line-of-duty” injury for eligible officers and those disabled from attempted suicide.
- Extending the death and disability benefits under the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program to certain public safety officers and families of officers who die by trauma-linked suicide.
The 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.