Gluesenkamp Perez Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Support Small Police Departments, Votes to Honor Fallen Officers

May 19, 2023
Press

To recognize National Police Week, Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (WA-03) introduced a bipartisan bill to support Southwest Washington’s small police departments and voted to pass legislation to honor fallen law enforcement officers.

Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez first led a bipartisan group of lawmakers in introducing the Invest to Protect Act to help small and mid-sized police departments access funding for mental health support, training, hiring, and retention.

Specifically, the Invest to Protect Act will:

  • Invest in officer safety, de-escalation, and domestic violence response training, allowing officers to receive critical training that will make them even more effective at their jobs;
  • Create grants for small departments to recruit and retain new officers, to help keep their existing officers and recruit new ones;
  • Allow departments to provide mental health resources for their officers; and,
  • Authorize $50,000,000 of existing funding per year for 5 years for local police departments.

“Right now, small town police departments like so many in Southwest Washington are competing with some of the largest in the country for funding, which is making it next to impossible for these departments to get the funds they need to best serve their communities,” said Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez. “The Invest to Protect Act creates a separate pot of money for these departments so they’re competing on a more level playing field.”

Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez then joined her colleagues in cosponsoring and passing a resolution to honor the memories of fallen officers who lost their lives in the line of duty and send condolences to their loved ones.

“Officers put their lives on the line every single day, and we will never forget the courage and sacrifice of the heroes who passed while working to keep our communities safe,” said Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez.

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