Rep. Julie McCluskie’s bill to expand the successful peace officers behavioral health support grant program passes house on third reading
DENVER, CO– The House today passed Rep. Julie McCluskie’s bipartisan bill to modify the existing peace officer mental health grant program to expand and enhance community based law enforcement response efforts. The bill passed by a vote of 57-6.
“Expanding the Peace Officer Mental Health Grant Program to include a focus on co-responder and community partnership programs is responsive to the many behavioral health and social services needs we are seeing in Colorado’s communities,” said Rep. Julie McCluskie, D-Dillon. “It’s important that we diversify the tools available to create a continuum of responses for individuals in crisis and connect them to the support they deserve. Expanding this grant program will do just that.”
The Peace Officer Mental Health Grant program provides financial assistance to law enforcement agencies for services such as counseling and mental health support for peace officers, on-scene response services to support peace officers’ handling of people with behavioral health issues, use of force training, and more.
HB21-1030, also sponsored by Minority Leader Hugh McKean, R-Loveland, removes the grant program’s repeal date and expands the allowable uses of the grant funds to include on-scene responses for social service needs in addition to mental health, meaning responders could direct individuals toward help with housing, food insecurity and more.
The program will continue to fund direct mental health support services for peace officers and will open up additional opportunities for collaborative responses to calls for service between public safety entities and community-based providers.