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Rep.Johnson, Jarvis

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Representative Jarvis Johnson has filed HB 3859  print page

by: Rep. Johnson, Jarvis
03/11/2019

Austin, Texas (March 11, 2019) - Representative Jarvis Johnson has filed HB 3859, which would require mental health check-ups for Houston police and firefighters. Those that witness the death of a civilian or the serious injury of a colleague would be eligible for a suicidal ideation evaluation. Prior to filing the bill, Rep. Johnson stated:

"We spend money to protect our officer's chest with bulletproof vests. We protect our firefighters flesh with flame resistant suits. We give our firefighters and police the physical protections needed to keep their bodies safe, but we neglect to protect their minds. I am working to protect our first responders above the shoulders. We must do something to help our officers above the shoulders."

The bill was filed with the intent to cut down the rate of police officer and firefighter suicides in Texas. For the third straight year, in 2018, more police officers died by suicide than in the line-of-duty. In 2017, 103 firefighters committed suicide and 93 died in the line of duty. In 2018, at least 159 police officers died by suicide nationwide while 145 officers lost their lives in the line-of-duty, twelve of these suicides occurred in Texas. Firefighters have an estimated suicide rate of 18 per 100,000 people, police officers have a rate of 17 per 100,000 people, and the general population has a rate of 13 per 100,000 people. HB 3859 is a statement that Texas is ready to protect both the body and the minds of firefighters and police officers, it is a major step towards curbing the rate of suicide among firefighters and police and it is an investment in a higher quality of life for them men and women that protect us.

Contact: Cole Wilson (512)463-0554

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Room E2.904

P.O. Box 2910

Austin, TX 78768

(512) 463-0554

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6112 Wheatley Street

Houston TX 77091

713-699-3043

713-699-3498 Fax