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New Law To Address Police Officers' Mental Health

Illinois police officers who want to seek mental health care can now do so without jeopardizing their jobs.
Illinois police officers who want to seek mental health care can now do so without jeopardizing their jobs.

Illinois police officers who want to seek mental health care can now do so without jeopardizing their jobs.

Listen to the story.

Governor Bruce Rauner Friday signed into law a measure that eliminates the job requirement of a Firearms Owners Identification Card when the card is temporarily revoked due to mental health treatment.

 
State Sen. Tom Cullerton, a Villa Park Democrat, said he hopes the new law helps combat the stigma around mental health care. "Police are normal people who have normal lives, who go through trauma just like everyone else—and when they see a traumatic situation, they worry about possibly losing their jobs. So this is a positive step forward," he said. 

Several groups worked with Sen. Cullerton and others in the legislature to get the measure to the governor's desk. Among them was the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council -- a police officer union. 

Tamara Cummings,  general counsel for the group, said the new law is long overdue and hopes more officers seek treatment. 

Cummings said the measure does not apply to those officers who present a danger to themselves or others, and it also does not restrict an employer from weighing in on an officer's fitness to serve. An officer can be placed in administrative positions, instead of being penalized,  while undergoing mental health treatment. 

Copyright 2018 NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Daisy reports on various assignments for NPR Illinois. She graduated from the Public Affairs Reporting master’s degree program at the University of Illinois Springfield, where she spent time covering the legislative session for NPR Illinois' Illinois Issues. Daisy interned then researched for the Chicago Reporter. She obtained an associate degree in French language from Harry S Truman College and a bachelor's degree in communications from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Before coming to Springfield, Daisy worked in communication roles for several Chicago non-profits. Daisy is from Chicago where she attended Lane Tech High School.
Daisy Contreras
Daisy reports on statehouse issues for our Illinois Issues project. She's currently a Public Affairs Reporting graduate program student at the University of Illinois Springfield. She graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology with an associates degrees from Truman College. Daisy is from Chicago where she attended Lane Tech High School.