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Congressman Lloyd Smucker

Representing the 16th District of Pennsylvania

Smucker Cosponsors Legislation to Improve Mental Health, Safety of Law Enforcement Officers

May 18, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker (PA-16) is standing with America’s law enforcement. In recognition of National Police Week, Rep. Smucker signed on as a cosponsor to two bills to improve the mental health and wellness of police officers and to provide them with lifesaving equipment to better protect themselves and the communities they serve.

“National Police Week is an opportunity to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation for the brave men and women who protect our communities,” said Rep. Smucker. “But it’s also a time to remember those officers who laid down their lives in order to keep us safe. I am proud to support legislation that will help keep our law enforcement officers safe in the line of duty and at home.”

Rep. Smucker hosted a conference call with chiefs of police in the 16th district and has reached out to numerous county-level law enforcement officials about how best he can help equip law enforcement with the resources and tools necessary to keep Pennsylvanians safe.

According to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, more law enforcement officers die by suicide than are killed in the line of duty. Additionally, they have a greater risk of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. The bipartisan Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act (H.R. 2228) would increase grant funding for programs and studies on the effectiveness of regular mental health checks and crisis hotlines.

This legislation has been endorsed by:

·        Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association

·        Fraternal Order of Police

·        Major County Sheriffs’ of America

·        National Association of Police Organizations

·        National District Attorneys Association

·        Sergeants Benevolent Association

Following the 2014 riots in Ferguson, Missouri, President Obama issued an order to restrict local law enforcement’s access to lifesaving federal equipment. Many of the restricted items are purely defensive, such as riot shields, riot helmets, and armored personnel vehicles. TheProtecting Lives Using Surplus Equipment Act (H.R. 426) would authorize law enforcement to receive surplus federal equipment.

This legislation has been endorsed by:

·        Fraternal Order of Police

·        Major County Sheriffs’ Association

·        National Association of Police Organizations

·        National Sheriffs’ Association

On Wednesday, Rep. Smucker voted in support of the bipartisan Strengthening State and Local Cyber Crime Fighting Act to help local law enforcement combat cyber and electronic crime. The House also passed the American Law Enforcement Heroes Act to encourage state and local governments to hire veterans as new career law enforcement officers.

On the evening of Monday, May 15th, Rep. Smucker joined the Lancaster City Bureau of Police for a ride-along and discussed the challenges they face.

Rep. Smucker recorded a short video for National Police Week. Click the image to watch the video.