LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTVE/KARD) — According to the Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, she has partnered with a bipartisan coalition of 53 attorneys general to urge Congress to pass The Public Safety Officer Support Act of 2022. The legislation addresses gaps in support for public safety officers who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) associated with the high-risk nature of their jobs.
“Our Public Safety officers and their families deserve the best we can give them,” Attorney General Rutledge said. “Passing this legislation is the least we can do to repay them for their sacrifices and selflessness.”
The legislation 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.
- Allowing families of officers who die by trauma-linked suicide to apply for death benefits.
This 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.
In the letter, the attorneys general praise the work of public safety officers including police, firefighters and emergency medical technicians who respond to stressful and potentially traumatic situations. Compared to the general public, these public safety officers are 25.6 times more likely to develop PTSD. Research shows that individuals suffering from PTSD are at an increased risk of suicide.