September 15, 2020
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced that the York County Sheriff’s Office has been awarded $111,603 to improve the delivery of and access to mental health and wellness services for law enforcement officers. This funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Justice’s Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act Program.
“As we combat the COVID-19 pandemic, communities across Maine continue to rely on local law enforcement to help keep them safe, and they deserve our ongoing support,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “This critical investment will help ensure that the York County Sheriff’s Office has the resources it needs to provide law enforcement officers with services that promote their wellbeing.”
This funding will support the York County Sheriff Office’s York County Peer Support Project, an effort aimed at expanding mental health resources to officers through training and technical assistance; demonstration projects; implementation of promising practices related to peer mentoring, mental health, and wellness; and suicide prevention programs.
Last year, the Supporting and Treating Officers in Crisis Act that was introduced by Senators Collins, Josh Hawley (R-MO), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) was signed into law. The legislation restores grant funding for law enforcement support services and allows grant recipients to use funds to establish suicide-prevention programs and mental health services for law enforcement officers.
In May, Senators Collins and King joined a bipartisan group of their colleagues in introducing a resolution recognizing the week of May 10 through May 16 as National Police Week, which passed unanimously. This resolution honored police officers, sheriffs, and other law enforcement officers in Maine and throughout the country for serving our communities with valor, dignity, and integrity.
To date, Senators Collins and Angus King have announced more than $4.4 million in funding through the CARES Act for Maine law enforcement to prevent and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.