Quigley Law Enforcement Suicide Data Collection Bill Is Signed Into Law
President Trump signed into law Tuesday the Law Enforcement Suicide Data Collection Act, the bipartisan bill Senate companion to U.S. Representative Mike Quigley H.R.3735, after receiving a unanimous vote in the House of Representatives. This legislation will establish a government data collection program to track suicides within law enforcement departments at the local, state, and federal levels.
“Right now, activists around the country are bringing attention to a law enforcement system that is broken in many ways,” said Congressman Mike Quigley. “As a nation, we are currently having a much needed discussion of issues that exist within policing structures – a discussion that must include recognizing the need for strong mental health services for law enforcement. When officers are not operating at optimal capacity and struggle with a mental health issues, serious problems can arise in their work and their community. By raising awareness of the mental health needs of law enforcement officers, we can provide them with the help they need to do their jobs better and improve policing overall.”
According to a recent study, law enforcement officers died by suicide in 2019 at more than twice the rate they were killed in the line of duty. This means that officers are more likely to die from suicide than at work. Currently, there is no comprehensive government effort to track attempted suicides or suicides in law enforcement. In fact, there are only a few estimates on the number of suicides within law enforcement each year and this data is often not available to the public.
The government data collection program created under Quigley’s bill will serve as the principal tool to compile data on law enforcement suicides and attempted suicides within law enforcement across the country. By providing accurate and detailed information on these suicides and attempted suicides, departments can implement more effective prevention and postvention programs to save more lives.
“I am proud that my legislation to prioritize the mental health of our law enforcement officers has been signed into law,” continued Congressman Quigley. “By collecting the best information on suicides, we take the first critical step in helping police departments establish and strengthen their mental health services. As we work to identify systemic issues in our law enforcement system, we must pull back the curtain to address psychological obstacles that affect officers across the country.”