Shaheen Announces $82,000 for Manchester Police Department to Invest in DOJ Mental Health Program

September 09, 2020

DOJ Now Required to Collect and Report National Data on Law Enforcement Suicide As a Result of Shaheen Provision Signed Into Law 

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the lead Democrat of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Department of Justice (DOJ), announced today that the Manchester Police Department (MPD) will receive $82,000 through the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act Program, which is operated by the DOJ’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office. The Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act Program promotes peer mentoring health and wellness, supports suicide prevention programs and invests in improving access to mental health and wellness for law enforcement. Shaheen is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the lead Democrat of the Subcommittee that funds COPS grants and worked to include an additional $3 million for Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act grants in the government funding bill last year. 

“Law enforcement face tremendous stress on the job, which has only been exacerbated by COVID-19. Federal funding to increase access to mental health programs and wellness for officers is more urgently needed now than ever,” said Senator Shaheen. “Increasing training and support for law enforcement to prioritize mental health investments for their departments is important to keeping officers safe and preventing burnout. I’m glad to see the Manchester Police Department’s leadership and commitment to this program, and the broader state effort to address mental health through coordination with the Southern NH Regional Critical Stress Management and Peer-to-Peer Support Program. I’ll continue to push for more federal resources that invest in these priorities in New Hampshire.” 

Chief Carlo Capano of the Manchester Police Department said, “We are very pleased and grateful for this grant opportunity, officer resilience is so important in our field.  This grant will allow us to expand and enhance our CIMT program throughout the state. That means more officers will be trained and more officers benefiting from this great program across the state.”

Chief David Goldstein of the Franklin Police Department and a member of the Southern NH Regional Critical Stress Management and Peer-to-Peer Support team said, “I’m incredibly pleased with this grant award. These funds will allow law enforcement agencies throughout the state to provide critical resources to not only police officers, but also family members and non-sworn members of departments. I’d like to thank Senator Shaheen for her diligent and unwavering support of law enforcement in New Hampshire.”

Earlier this year, the cities and towns of Laconia, Manchester, Claremont, Hollis, Somersworth and Thornton received COPS Hiring Program (CHP) grants to advance community policing. Claremont, Hollis, Somersworth and Thornton each received $125,000, while Laconia received $250,000 and Manchester received $1.25 million. CHP grants support state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies’ ability to hire, preserve and/or rehire law enforcement officers and to increase community policing efforts. 

record number of U.S. law enforcement officers died by suicide last year, according to Blue H.E.L.P. a Massachusetts-based nonprofit that works to reduce mental health stigmas for police. Blue H.E.L.P. reported that 228 current or former officers died by suicide in 2019 – more than all other line-of-duty deaths combined, and a dramatic increase over the number of deaths by suicide reported in 2018. As the lead Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the DOJ, Senator Jeanne Shaheen included language in the government funding bill that became law in December that requires DOJ to collect national data on law enforcement suicides so that the law enforcement community, policymakers and the public can better understand the scope of this issue and trends surrounding these tragic deaths. She also secured funds to improve mental health services for state and local law enforcement agencies, including resources to reduce stigmas around officers seeking mental health treatment and programs to assist officers in handling repeated exposure to stress and trauma while on the job. Shaheen’s measure was the result of conversations with law enforcement officers in New Hampshire, who regularly come face-to-face with the tragic consequences of the substance misuse epidemic and other traumatic emergency response situations.