KYPCIS Bill Takes Another Step Toward Passage
In its first hearing before Kentucky senators, House Bill 68 passed unanimously Tuesday in the Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee.
HB 68 will establish the Law Enforcement Professional Development and Wellness Program, the umbrella under which the Kentucky Post-Critical Incident Seminar will operate at the Department of Criminal Justice Training.
The bill has one more stop before reaching the hands of Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin for passage as law – the Senate floor.
“There is a dire need in this country and in this great commonwealth for programs to address law enforcement mental health and wellness,” DOCJT Deputy Commissioner John McGuire testified before the committee. “That is why HB 68 and the Law Enforcement Professional Development and Wellness Program are so important. This program WILL save lives.”
Senator Danny Carroll (R-Paducah) applauded DOCJT and the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Ken Fleming (R-Jefferson) for pursuing the legislation, noting that he believes the program will be well received and Kentucky’s officers will benefit greatly.
“This is long overdue,” said Carroll, a retired Paducah Police assistant chief. “Two years into my career, I was involved in a fatality answering a call – an event that almost ended my career. The only support I obtained through that entire incident was basically a visit with a psychiatrist who cleared me to go back to work and that was it.
“Those things don’t go away,” Carroll continued. “Those are memories that stay with you for your entire life, and sometimes they are very difficult to deal with. Thank you all for taking this very seriously and establishing this program so officers know they have support out there when these things do happen, and they’re not left to fend for themselves.”
A special thanks to Rep. Fleming and all the bill’s sponsors. DOCJT also is grateful for the support of Gov. Matthew Bevin, Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary John Tilley, Deputy Secretary Jonathan Grate and other JPSC staff, the Fraternal Order of Police, Kentucky Association of Counties, Kentucky League of Cities and multiple other professional law enforcement organizations.
For more on Kentucky Post-Critical Incident Seminars, please visit www.kypcis.com. For the full text of HB 68, please visit http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/18RS/HB68.htm.