Attention! Tustin Hangar ResourceClick Here

California's 40th District

Nov 3, 2021 | In The News, Veterans

U.S. Reps. Young Kim (R-CA) and Peter Meijer (R-MI) joined a bipartisan group of colleagues to introduce a bill that would create a grant program to deploy military veteran law enforcement officers trained in mental health to respond to other veterans during an emergency.

The Supporting Every at-Risk Veteran in Critical Emergencies (SERVICE) Act of 2021, H.R. 5788, would create a pilot program through the U.S. Justice Department that gives grants to state, local and tribal law enforcement officers that respond to veterans in crisis. Once an emergency is under control, the response team would work with the veteran to connect the individual with public and private resources that can provide long-term care, a summary of the bill said.

The grant program created through the legislation would be based on a successful military liaison group created by the Cincinnati, Ohio, Police Department.

“Our veterans in California’s 39th District and across the nation put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms and deserve the best care and resources at our nation’s disposal once they return home. I cannot think of a better way to support our veterans in times of crisis than by having fellow veterans on the front lines of providing assistance,” Rep. Kim said.

Reps. Kim and Meijer signed on as original cosponsors of the SERVICE Act, which was sponsored by U.S. Rep. Maria Salazar (R-FL), along with U.S. Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA).

“Veterans represent the very best of America, and we must bring every available resource to bear to care for them when their service has ended,” Rep. Meijer said. “We know that veterans in crisis respond best to other veterans, and as a veteran myself, I am proud to partner in this innovative effort to support our heroes when they need help most.”

According to a summary of the bill, the grants could be used to train law enforcement officers on mental health issues related to military service; provide overtime for officers that participate on a veteran response team; grow awareness of the program at community events; and promote veteran job fairs to facilitate the hiring of veterans to law enforcement jobs.

“We know from experience that a veteran is more likely to respond to a fellow veteran in time of crisis,” John Rowan, National President of Vietnam Veterans of America, said. “A Veteran Response Team trained in mental health would arm the judicial system with a mechanism to intervene on behalf of the veteran struggling with readjustment to civilian life, and most important, it will save lives.”

The Ripon Advance

Signup to receive our Email Newsletters

The Latest News