State Rep. Wants Cops Tested for PTSD
Democratic State Rep. Jason Dawkins wants police officers to undergo testing for post-traumatic stress disorder.
Dawkins, who serves the 179th District in Philly, plans to introduce a bill that would require Pa. law enforcement officers to complete mental health evaluations every other year – or within 30 days of an incident involving lethal force.
“Being in law enforcement is a very demanding and stressful job,” Dawkins said in a statement. “These brave men and women put their lives on the line every day to keep our families and communities safe. That demand can certainly take a toll on a police officer mentally and with dangerous consequences.”
PTSD, which includes symptoms like intrusive memories, chronic anxiety, emotional numbing and memory loss, is caused by extremely stressful or frightening events, as well as prolonged traumatic experiences.
Incidents like hostage situations, drug busts, crashes or cases that involve serious injury or death frequently put police officers at risk of PTSD.
Dawkins said PTSD evaluations would give officers “the tools they need to deal with that illness” and “contribute to the safety of communities” by ensuring officers are not serving with symptoms that could be considered dangerous, like insomnia, fatigue, and fear for safety.
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