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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: September 13, 2017 02:50 PM
From: Representative Jason Dawkins
To: All House members
Subject: PTSD Evaluations for Law Enforcement Officers
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation to require law enforcement officers in Pennsylvania to undergo Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) evaluations every other year and within 30 days of an incident of the use of lethal force.

Being a police officer is a demanding, stressful job. Officers are exposed to violence, gruesome traffic deaths and injuries, and other traumatic incidents. Like military personnel, law enforcement officers often suffer from PTSD in silence for cultural, personal and professional reasons. The profession requires a person to rein in their own emotions to serve the community through all kinds of difficult situations. Taking stock of those emotions can be challenging without a mechanism in place to ensure all officers regularly get the assistance they need.

My legislation will ensure that law enforcement officers are regularly evaluated for PTSD so they have the tools they need to deal with that illness. This requirement will contribute to the safety of our communities by ensuring that officers are not serving with dangerous symptoms, such as insomnia, fatigue, loss of appetite, recurring thoughts and nightmares, anxiety, depression, numbness, or fear for their own safety.

Police officers need the tools and the incentive to properly diagnose and treat PTSD in the ranks. Furthermore, communities need healthy officers to keep all Pennsylvanians safe. Please join me in co-sponsoring this vital legislation.

Introduced as HB1804