The Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) this week announced $4.5 million in grants for the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act Program. These program funds are used to improve the delivery of and access to mental health and wellness services for law enforcement through training and technical assistance, demonstration projects, implementation of promising practices related to peer mentoring mental health and wellness, and suicide prevention programs.
In the Northern District of Oklahoma, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation was awarded $125,000 for their peer support project.
“The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Lighthorse Police are an important public safety partner for all of us living in northeastern Oklahoma,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. “This funding from the Justice Department’s Community Oriented Policing Services will help the Lighthorse fulfill their mission to serve and protect. I’m proud to see the Department continuing to support tribal law enforcement.”
“As a law enforcement professional with over 50 years of experience, I know firsthand the pressures that accompany this most noble profession,” said COPS Office Director Phil Keith. “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. The grants announced today will provide departments with key mental health and wellness services.”
Two other Oklahoma entities also received funding for peer support projects. In the Eastern District of Oklahoma, the Muskogee Police Department received $121, 299, and in the Western District of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City received $111,724.
Good mental and psychological health is just as essential as good physical health for law enforcement officers to be effective in keeping our communities safe from crime and violence. As part of the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act of 2017, Congress authorized the COPS Office to establish peer mentoring mental health and wellness pilot programs within state, tribal, and local law enforcement agencies. The 41 awards announced today meet the goals of the 2017 Act and support the Department of Justice and the Administration’s commitment to law enforcement. The full list of awards is available here: https://cops.usdoj.gov/pdf/2020AwardDocs/lemhwa/Award_List.pdf.
In addition to the grants announced today, the COPS Office recently published two reports regarding officer mental health and wellness. Those reports are available here:
The COPS Office is the federal component of the Department of Justice responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. Since 1994, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of more than 134,000 officers and provide a variety of knowledge resource products including publications, training and technical assistance.