House Charts a Course to Improve First Responder Interactions with People with Disabilities

DENVER, CO– The House today passed Representative Meg Froelich’s bipartisan bill to establish a commission charged with creating a plan to improve first responder interactions with people with disabilities. The bill passed by a vote of 53-10. 

“People with disabilities are disproportionately more likely to be the victim of crimes and have unique needs and considerations that must be taken into account by first responders,” said Rep. Meg Froelich, D-Englewood. “This bill sets us down a path toward ensuring that first responders have the training and tools necessary to guarantee better outcomes when they interact with people with disabilities. By passing this bill today, we voted in favor of preventing tragedies and ensuring that those tasked with keeping our communities safe are better prepared to protect all community members.” 

HB21-1122, also sponsored by Representative Colin Larson, would establish a twelve-person commission tasked with performing a detailed study of existing training for peace officers on interactions with persons with disabilities and provide a report to the POST Board by February 28, 2022. The bill establishes that the resulting training curriculum be implemented for basic training and the annual in-service training by July 1, 2022. Once the curriculum is implemented, the commission would monitor the training process, assess any challenges and the effectiveness of the training to present and suggest to the POST Board.