SECTION 1. Chapter 6 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 116C the following section:-
Section 116C 1/2. (a) As used in this section, “law enforcement officer” shall mean any officer of a municipal police department, the office of environmental law enforcement, the University of Massachusetts, the state police, or other agency certified by the Massachusetts police training committee.
(b) The municipal police training committee shall develop and establish, within its recruit basic training curriculum and its in-service training curriculum available to in-service trainees, a course for regional and municipal police training schools for the training of law enforcement officers in the commonwealth on mental wellness and suicide prevention. The course, which shall consist of 2 hours of total instruction, shall teach law enforcement officers how to:
(i) utilize healthy coping skills to manage the stress and trauma of policing;
(ii) recognize the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder within themselves and other officers; and
(iii) recognize the signs of suicidal behavior within themselves and other officers.
(c) The course shall include information on the mental health resources available to help law enforcement officers and shall be designed to reduce and eliminate the stigma associated with law enforcement officers reaching out for mental health services.
(d) The course of instruction shall be developed by the municipal police training committee in consultation with appropriate groups and individuals having an interest and expertise in law enforcement mental health and suicide prevention.
SECTION 2. Chapter 22C of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 21 the following section:-
Section 21A. All sworn members shall annually attend and complete a course on mental wellness and suicide prevention established pursuant to section 116C 1/2 of chapter 6. While attending the course, the sworn member shall be paid his or her regular wages and shall receive such reasonable expenses as may be determined by the colonel. The colonel or designee may suspend or remove any uniformed member who fails to annually complete the course.
SECTION 3. Section 96B of chapter 41 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after section 96B the following section:-
Section 96C. Any sworn officer in an agency that is certified by the Massachusetts police training committee shall annually attend and complete a course on mental wellness and suicide prevention established pursuant to section 116C 1/2 of chapter 6. While attending the course, the officer shall be paid his or her regular wages as a police officer and shall receive such reasonable expenses as may be determined by his or her appointing authority. Failure of an officer to complete the course may result in suspension or removal of the officer by his or her appointing authority.
The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The General Court provides this information as a public service and while we endeavor to keep the data accurate and current to the best of our ability, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.