Amid nationwide protests to defund police departments, $4.5 million has been granted to the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act Program, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Tuesday.
The money will be used to improve mental health services for law enforcement, according to the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), the DOJ announced. Mental and psychological health is critical for law enforcement officers to effectively do their jobs, according to the DOJ.
“As a law enforcement professional with over 50 years of experience, I know firsthand the pressures that accompany this most noble profession,” COPS Office Director Phil Keith said, according to the DOJ.
“This Department of Justice is committed to protecting the health and wellness of a police department’s most valuable asset – the men and women that leave their homes every day with a mission to protect and serve,” Keith added, according to the DOJ. “The grants announced today will provide departments with key mental health and wellness services.”
Biden has said several times in interviews and op-eds that he does not support defunding the police. And his campaign platform actually includes hiring more officers, focused on community policing. https://t.co/SWjwEeDTCo
— PolitiFact (@PolitiFact) September 7, 2020
Protests across the country have called to defund the police and invest the funds in community-led safety initiatives, according to CNN. (RELATED: Joe Biden Says ‘The Only Person Calling To Defund The Police Is Donald Trump’)
“It’s about reinvesting those dollars into black communities, communities that have been deeply divested from,” Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Patrice Cullors said, WBUR reported.
The newly allocated funds will reportedly cover training and technical assistance, suicide prevention programs and peer mentorship education for law enforcement officers, according to the DOJ.
The COPS Office is in charge of advancing community policing across the nation and has invested over $14 billion in community efforts since 1994, according to the DOJ.
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