Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is among the bipartisan coalition of 53 state and territory attorneys general urging Congress to pass legislation to address gaps in support for public safety officers who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
In a letter sent to House and Senate leadership, the coalition asked Congress to pass The Public Safety Officer Support Act.
The legislation would designate work-related PTSD as a “line-of duty” injury for eligible officers and those disabled from attempted suicide.
It also allows families of officers who die by trauma-linked suicide to apply for death benefits.
The attorneys general praised the work of public safety officers including police, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians who respond to stressful and potentially traumatic situations.
Compared to the general public, they are 25.6 times more likely to develop PTSD.
Research shows those suffering from PTSD are at increased risk of suicide.