Today, legislation co-led by U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.), to bolster funding for tribal and rural law enforcement, passed out of the U.S. House 360-64. The Invest to Protect Act (H.R. 6448) provides grants to small, rural, and tribal departments to improve the recruitment and retention of local law enforcement and provides mental health training to officers. Johnson was instrumental in ensuring tribal law enforcements were eligible in the bill.
"Tribal communities will be safer because of the Invest to Protect Act,"said Representative and former SheriffJohn Rutherford (R-FL-04). "Thank you to Congressman Johnson for his leadership ensuring that small tribal law enforcement agencies have equal access to this critically important funding."
"For years, the far-left has called to defund the police -- today the House sent a clear message: that's not happening," said Johnson. "Our nation has chronically underinvested in mental health resources, and our cities, and specifically our tribal reservations, have seen a dramatic increase in violent crime. The Invest to Protect Act provides critical resources for training focused on de-escalation, substance abuse, and mental health care, targeting smaller departments that need support the most. Our bill also provides resources to increase recruitment to ensure local and tribal communities police departments are appropriately staffed."
The Invest to Protect Act:
Creates a grant program at the Department of Justice focused on improving the recruitment and retention of local law enforcement and providing training and access to mental health resources.
Grants may be used to fund "eligible activities" including de-escalation training, law enforcement officer signing and retention bonuses, training for handling situations involving domestic violence and responding to calls for service involving persons with substance use disorders, and improved access to mental health care services for law enforcement officers.
To be eligible, law enforcement agencies must employ fewer than 125 officers, a threshold which will cover more than 95 percent of police departments in the country.