Rep. Young Kim Helps Introduce SERVICE Act to Support Veterans and Law Enforcement
Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Young Kim (CA-39) joined Reps. Maria Salazar (FL-27), Lou Correa (CA-46) and colleagues to introduce the bipartisan Supporting Every at-Risk Veteran in Critical Emergencies (SERVICE) Act.
The SERVICE Act creates a pilot program through the Department of Justice that provides grants to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to deploy local veteran response teams of military veteran law enforcement officers that respond to other veterans in crisis or emergency. Once the emergency is under control, the response team can work further with the veteran to connect them with public and private partner resources to create long-term solutions and care. The grant program that would be created through the SERVICE Act is based off a successful, similar “Military Liaison Group” created by Sergeant Dave Corlett at the Cincinnati Police Department. This is the only group of its kind and currently responds to calls all over the Midwest.
“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,” said Congresswoman Young Kim. “I’m proud to join my friend Rep. Maria Salazar and a bipartisan group of colleagues to introduce the SERVICE Act and show our veterans that we have their backs as they had ours."
“All too often, veterans who have survived combat and have trouble readjusting to civilian life find themselves in conflict with the law. Their unexplained, volatile hostile actions provoke a defensive response from law enforcement, often resulting in the loss of life,” said John Rowan, National President of Vietnam Veterans of America. “Vietnam Veterans of America fully supports the Supporting Every at-Risk Veteran In Critical Emergencies Act of 2021. We know from experience that a veteran is more likely to respond to a fellow veteran in time of crisis. 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.”
SERVICE grants can be used to:
- Train and educate for law enforcement officers on mental health issues related to military service;
- Provide overtime for law enforcement officers that participate on a veteran response team;
- Help departments add the insignia of the branch of Armed Forces in which the officer served to their law enforcement uniform;
- Grow awareness of the program at community events; and,
- Promote Veteran Job fairs to facilitate the hiring of veterans to law enforcement positions.
The SERVICE Act is supported by Vietnam Veterans of America, Hope for the Warriors, Easterseals, the R Street Institute and the Florida Police Chiefs Association.
In addition to the SERVICE Act, Rep. Kim is proud to support the following efforts for veterans:
- Veterans Peer Specialist Act of 2021 (H.R. 4575) which expands the Peer Specialist Program at the VA to all VA medical centers;
- Puppies Assisting Wounded Service members for Veterans Therapy Act (H.R. 1448) which creates a pilot program at the VA to provide service dog therapy to veterans suffering from PTSD (became law);
- United States-Israel PTSD Collaborative Research Act (H.R. 852) which establishes a grant program for collaborative PTSD research between the U.S. and Israel (included in FY22 NDAA);
- Toxic Exposure in the American Military Act (H.R. 2127) which expands health care and benefits for veterans exposed to toxic substances;
- Veterans and Family Information Act (H.R. 2093) which directs the VA to improve language accessibility by requiring benefits. information in multiple languages (passed the House); and,
- Global War on Terrorism Memorial Location Act (H.R. 1115) which authorizes the establishment of a National Global War on Terrorism memorial at the National Mall.