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FLEOA Endorses COPS Counseling Act

April 29, 2021

Honorable Catherine Cortez Masto
United States Senate 
516 Hart Senate Office Building 
Washington, D.C. 20510

Honorable Chuck Grassley
United States Senate 
516 Hart Senate Office Building 
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Cortez Masto and Senator Chuck Grassley,

The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) is the nation’s largest non-partisan, non-profit association representing more than 29,000 federal law enforcement officers from across all 65 federal agencies. One of the overriding issues FLEOA has been engaged with and supports is addressing the mental health and wellness crisis in the law enforcement community.

We are pleased to support your introduction of the Confidentiality Opportunities for Peer Support Counseling ("COPS Counseling”) Act. Peer support and counseling is a major component is mental health and has often been underutilized despite evidence showing its positive effect on those that use it.

This Act can significantly mitigate the number of law enforcement officers who have found no help when they need it the most. We feel it can also alleviate some or the fear of embarrassment because it proposes a level of confidentiality within peer support that is currently lacking which may increase peer support program use.

Peer support programs are invaluable as they tend to bridge the gap by providing support to law enforcement and first responders and this act highlights the monumental and lifesaving importance that would better encourage federal law enforcement officers to access peer support programs.

Confidentially is the key to enhancing peer support programs and ensuing that information derived from those sessions is restricted and protected is paramount to the success of the peer support system.

As of this date, at least 38 law enforcement officers have chosen suicide vs reaching out for help, including two stemming from involvement with the Capitol riot. This Act and other initiatives that could help mitigate this crisis and save a law enforcement officers life should be a priority in Congress.

FLEOA appreciates your support of this legislation and looks forward to working with you on its rapid passage. If we can be of any additional assistance, feel free to contact us at fleoa@fleoa.org.

Sincerely,

Larry Cosme

National President

Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association

 

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