Sen. Cassidy proposes bill to help police respond to mental health crises

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Posted at 9:33 PM, Apr 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-12 22:33:09-04

Senator Cassidy is introducing a bill aimed at training when it comes to mental health calls.

KATC took a closer look at the legislation and the situations that can be a matter of life or death.

"We've got to support the police. We've seen incidences of where police have been alerted to a circumstance or they've then been ambushed,” said Cassidy.

It's a scenario that's played out in Acadiana.

In March 2021, Abbeville Police were called to serve a protective order on a man in Abbeville.

According to state police, the man, Dwight Brown opened fire hitting a deputy, who returned fire killing Brown.

We later found out Brown was a veteran suffering from PTSD.

“This would have training available for police departments, police officers, to recognize that situation to minimize the chance that they will be ambushed,” Cassidy added.

Senator Bill Cassidy's proposed legislation wasn't inspired by anyone's case, but the broader issue.

The bill would make training grants available to agencies across the country.

"This could be incorporated into that where a sheriff who would normally be going up to look at one aspect of training would have this offered in addition and that way, you begin to train the trainer to hopefully disseminate as much as possible. We just need to protect those who are protecting us, particularly from something which is so awful as an ambush,” said Cassidy.

If passed, Senator Cassidy hopes those resources will be available soon.

"I'm hoping that before the end of this Congress will have a major bill to address crime. There are several other things that we're working on that we plan to introduce. And so if this happens, then it would be passed to this Congress, which would be the end of this year, and hopefully, be implemented next year,” said Cassidy.

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