Biparty Bill Would Fund Veterans Crisis Support Teams to Veterans in Law Enforcement | New

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A The bipartisan bill seeks to support veterans in crisis by funding “veterans response teams” made up of law enforcement veterans who respond to other veterans facing crisis and link them to resources.

The Supporting Every at-Risk Veteran In Critical Emergencies Act, or SERVICE Act, co-led by Republican Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar of Florida and Democratic Rep. Lou Correa of ​​California, would expand a pilot program that began in Cincinnati to a level .

“Research shows that when a veteran is in crisis, he is more receptive to the help and support provided by his fellow veterans. Almost 20% of our US law enforcement has served in the military. , and they are arguably the best equipped to respond to other veterans in need, ”Salazar said in a statement.

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The SERVICE Act would provide $ 5 million per year for five years to provide grants from the Department of Justice to state, local and tribal governments to create “veterans response teams”. Teams would respond to situations with hostile, violent, threatening suicide or otherwise in crisis veterans. Once the immediate situation was under control, teams would work with them to connect them with long-term care resources like those in Veterans Affairs hospitals.

The bill is modeled on the Military Liaison Group pioneer in the Cincinnati Police Department by Sgt. David Corlett. Over 30% of its police force were veterans. Members of the liaison group said it was easier to provide help when the veterans knew the response officer was also a veteran.

Twenty-nine House Members are the original co-sponsors of the legislation, and it is supported by the Vietnam Veterans of America, Hope for the Warriors, Easterseals, the R Street Institute, and the Florida Police Chiefs Association.

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“When needed, veterans in crisis respond much better to other veterans,” Correa said in a statement. “At a time when veteran suicides account for 13.7% of American adult suicides, and veterans are twice as likely to die from accidental overdoses compared to the general American population, this legislation creates a tangible solution and a supportive cushion for the 18.8 million veterans in the United States, 9,862 of whom live in my district. This legislation will help veterans access timely care, connect with appropriate resources, find employment and save lives. ”

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