~ Bill requires law enforcement officers to receive crisis-intervention training for dealing with persons with mental illness ~
(Austin)-- Today, HB 2527 authored by Representative Garnet Coleman requiring all law enforcement officers to receive crisis-intervention training for dealing with persons with mental illness is expected to pass out of the House Committee on Law Enforcement and be sent to the local and consent calendar.
"This policy has been in practice for years," said Rep. Coleman. "I look forward to having the increased safety for our law enforcement officers and persons with mental illness across the state."
The companion to HB 2454 is being carried by Senator Jon Lindsay (Houston).
"I am very grateful to Sen. Lindsay for agreeing to work with me on this important issue," said Rep. Coleman. "I know he understands the public safety implications involved. Improving safety for law enforcement officers and persons with mental illness is good public policy."
Currently, new law enforcement recruits are required by rule to receive training in de-escalation and crisis intervention techniques for persons with mental illness, but with passage of this bill, veteran and intermediate officers will also be required to receive training as part of their continuing education.
"This policy is important, necessary and in the best interest of police officers and persons with mental illness," said Lynn Lasky Clark, President and CEO of Mental Health Association in Texas.
HB 2524 has been named the "Bob Meadours Act" in memory of a bipolar man who was shot 14 times in his back yard by veteran officers who had received no prior training in dealing with people suffering from mental illness.
Rep. Coleman has been working with the Meadours family for two years to pass this legislation.
Rep. Coleman represents District 147 in Houston and is the Chair of the Legislative Study Group (LSG) and the Texas Legislative Black Caucus (TLBC).
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