Joe Donnelly Honors Police Officers in Senate Speech
WASHINGTON---Honoring fallen police officers. That's when Indiana Democrat Senator Joe Donnelly was doing Thursday on the Senate floor in the nation's capital.
He honored Boone County Sheriff's Deputy Jacob Pickett, Terre Haute police officer Rob Pitts, and many other Indiana officers who had lost their lives since 2013.
Those included IMPD officers Rod Bradway and Perry Renn along with Southport Police Lieutenant Aaron Allan.
"These brave officers embodied values that should make their loved ones, fellow officers, and every Hoosier incredibly proud," Donnelly said.
Mental Health Services
Donnelly authored and introduced bipartisan legislation called the "Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act" earlier this year with Republican Indiana Senator Todd Young.
"Our bill was signed into law by President Trump in January. It helps law enforcement agencies establish or enhance mental health services for officers. It provides tools to help officers deal with mental health challenges and to combat the stigma associated with addressing those issues," Donnelly said.
This act allows to grants initiate peer mentoring pilot programs and supports police officers by looking at the effectiveness of crisis hotlines and annual mental health checks.
Supporting Children of Fallen Police Officers
Donnelly also helped introduce the "Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship Act", which allows children of fallen first responders who want a college education to have access to the maximum level of federal grant money authorized by law.
"We must do all we can to help the families of our fallen officers and first responders. This includes ensuring that their children get a good education," Donnelly said.
Funding for Law Enforcement Agencies to Buy Bulletproof Vests
Donnelly says the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program Reauthorization Act signed into law 2 years ago is helping police departments across Indiana buy bulletproof vests for officers.
"In the past 3 years, police departments across Indiana have received a total of more than $1 million to help purchase bulletproof vests for officers," Donnelly said.
(PHOTO: Alex Wong/Getty Images)