Senate Judiciary Committee Passes Durbin-Cosponsored Legislation That Supports Local Law Enforcement

WASHINGTON – At today’s Senate Judiciary Committee markup, the Committee voted unanimously in support of two bills cosponsored by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) that support local law enforcement – the Supporting and Treating Officers in Crisis (STOIC) Act of 2019 and the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program Reauthorization. 

The STOIC Act addresses the growing problem of law enforcement officer suicides by reauthorizing a grant program for law enforcement family support services and expanding the program’s eligible uses to ensure they cover mental health and suicide prevention efforts.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concluded that the rate of suicides among workers in protective services (law enforcement and firefighting) is 40 percent higher than the national average. 

“I am pleased to cosponsor the bipartisan Supporting and Treating Officers in Crisis Act, which would reauthorize grants for family support programs for law enforcement officers.  Tragically, the Chicago Police Department has suffered seven officer suicides since last July.  We need to provide our officers with support to cope with the challenges of their job, and this legislation will help to do that,” Durbin said.

The federal Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program provides 50-50 matching grants to state and local law enforcement to assist with the purchase of body armor.  This program has benefitted hundreds of law enforcement agencies in Illinois by helping them acquire lifesaving bulletproof vests.  Today’s legislation reauthorizes this vital program.   

“I am also proud to cosponsor the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program Reauthorization,” Durbin said.  “I have long supported this important program, which has helped police departments and sheriffs’ offices throughout Illinois afford vests for their officers.”