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Danbury lawmaker backs bill to promote mental health training for police

Danbury State Representative David Arconti has co-sponsored a bill to promote mental health and wellness training and suicide prevention for police officers.  He says Post Traumatic Stress Disorder isn't limited to military servicemen and women, and noted that first responders are often affected.  The proposal would prevent a municipality from discharging, discriminating or disciplining a first responder that seeks mental health services and require police departments to report to a database and police officer that has committed suicide.  


Danbury firefighter Lt. Joe Kovalsky testified before the Public Safety and Security Committee on PTSD.  


The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities supports the intent of the proposal, but says there are several programs that currently exist that can be a model to assist in recovery. 


The Connecticut Citizens Defense League raised concerns about a section of the bill, they'd like to see expanded to any permit holder.  The language of the bill would allow police officers who meet the permitting requirements to be issued a certificate, regardless of having been voluntarily admitted to a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities within the preceding six months for care and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder or to receive other mental health services.

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