Rep. Jackson has introduced HB 1128 concerning mental health assessment of law enforcement officers. It requires the law enforcement training board to come up with procedures for mental health assessments. It sets out a number of factors that should be considered with the assessments. Among them are things like frequency of personnel complaints against the officer, an abrupt change in behavior, irrational verbal conduct, suicidal statements, unexplained fatigue or hyperactivity, sudden weight gain or loss, a pattern of conduct suggesting an inability to defuse or a desire to aggravate, and dramatic negative changes in personal hygiene.
I can’t quite figure out if the assessments are limited to the following situations, the procedures are to be designed for assessments after “a return from military deployment, an exposure to a bloodborne pathogen, or the discharge of any firearm by a law enforcement officer during the course of a use of force incident.” The discharge of a firearm during a use of force incident doesn’t surprise me, but the military deployment and bloodborne pathogen scenarios strike me as oddly specific. Not that I can’t see the need after these situations, but it’s one of those underinclusive/overinclusive thing: lots of other scenarios where you’d probably want to conduct assessments and lots of people returning from military deployments or subject to bloodborne pathogens who don’t particularly need assessments. I don’t have any particular background here, so maybe there is something specific that makes these three scenarios the triple crown.
The legislation also provides for the assessments to be confidential, limits the purposes for which assessments may be used, and requires reasonable accommodations where the person is deemed not psychologically fit for duty.
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