NAPO Washington Reports

Congress Sends 3 NAPO-Backed Bills to President's Desk

December 15, 2022


NAPO Victory!  Congress Sends 3 NAPO-Backed
Bills to President’s Desk

On December 14, Congress passed three bills that NAPO has long endorsed and made a year-end priority to get across the finish line. The Law Enforcement De-Escalation Training Act (S. 4003), the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Reauthorization Act (S. 3846), and the Help Find the Missing Act (S. 5230) are now on their way to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

The Law Enforcement De-Escalation Training Act, sponsored by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), builds off of the existing Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne-JAG) structure to provide a dedicated stream of funding to local and State law enforcement agencies to train their officers—as well as mental health professionals working with those officers—in de-escalation tactics, alternatives to use of force, safely responding to mental or behavioral health crises, successfully participating on a crisis intervention team, and making referrals to community-based mental and behavioral health services and support and other social programs.

NAPO worked closely with our partners in the law enforcement, mental health, and criminal justice communities in developing this important bill to ensure it gives state and local law enforcement the resources and flexibility needed to train their officers in effectively responding to individuals in crisis. We also ensured that the bill gives law enforcement a significant role in the development of the training curriculum to ensure that it meets the real world needs of the officers on the streets and protects their safety as well as that of the individual in crisis. 

The Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Reauthorization Act, sponsored by Senators John Cornyn and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), makes important improvements to the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP), including strengthening support for mental health courts and crisis intervention teams; supporting diversion programming and training for state and local prosecutors; strengthening support for co-responder teams; supporting the integration of 988 into the existing public safety system; amending allowable uses to include suicide prevention in jails and information sharing between mental health systems and jails/prisons; and clarifying that crisis intervention teams can be placed in 911 call centers.

The JMHCP was reauthorized earlier this year for an additional 5 years at $54 million per year in the Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD Law Enforcement Training Act (Public Law 117-170)

The Help Find the Missing Act, sponsored by Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), closes loopholes in America’s missing persons systems – the National Missing Persons and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC), and the National DNA Index System (NDIS) – by facilitating data sharing between the systems, streamlining the missing persons reporting process and ensuring that law enforcement databases are more accessible and comprehensive.

Getting these three bills passed in the last weeks of the 117th Congress is a victory for NAPO.  We thank the bills sponsors, Senators Cornyn, Whitehouse, Klobuchar and Murphy, for their steadfast support, and we look forward to working with them in the 118th Congress to deliver additional resources, supports, and funding for the law enforcement community.