Cornyn, Cortez Masto Introduce Bill to Support Police with Brain Injuries
U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) today introduced their Public Safety Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injury Health Act, which would increase awareness of concussions and brain injuries among public safety officers:
“Every day, first responders risk their safety when responding to criminal activity, traffic incidents, natural disasters, and other dangerous situations in the line of duty,” said Sen. Cornyn. “Given that brain injuries can often go undetected in public safety professions, our bill would help ensure public safety officers have access to the information they need to identify an injury, seek treatment, and navigate the potential effects of these injuries on their quality of life.”
“Law enforcement officers put themselves in harm’s way every day, and I’m working to ensure we can diagnose and treat those who are hurt in the line of duty,”said Sen. Cortez Masto. “Far too often, traumatic brain injuries go undiagnosed and can have harmful effects on officers’ memory, concentration, and overall quality of life. Our bipartisan bill is a critical first step in ensuring that the men and women who keep our communities safe get the treatment and support they deserve.”
The legislation is cosponsored by Senators Mike Braun (R-IN), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Chris Coons (D-DE).
Traumatic brain injuries are any type of jolt that results in a change to brain function. These injuries can lead to serious issues, including difficulties with memory, concentration, and communication. Concussions are considered a mild traumatic brain injury, which is usually temporary but can take months to heal.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) maintains a website regarding traumatic brain injuries under their injury prevention and control division. As part of this website, the agency provides data on traumatic brain injuries, where to get help, research and reports, and specific resources for health care providers. This bill would require the agency to collect and make publicly available information on traumatic brain injuries specifically for public safety officers and provide recommendations and protocols for identifying, treating, and diagnosing concussions. It would also have the CDC disseminate information to mental health professionals on the connection between concussions and traumatic brain injuries with acute stress disorders and suicidal inclinations.
This legislation is endorsed by the National Fraternal Order of Police, National Association of Police Organizations, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), and NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association.