Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly honored fallen Hoosier law enforcement officers today in a speech in the Senate. Donnelly spoke about the nine officers lost in the line of duty since he began serving in the Senate five year ago:
- 2013: Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Rod Bradway
- 2014: Tipton County Deputy Sheriff Jacob Calvin; Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Perry Renn; Gary Police Department Patrolman Jeffrey Westerfield; and Merrillville Police Department Patrolman Nickolaus Schultz
- 2016: Howard County Deputy Sheriff Carl Koontz
- 2017: Southport Police Department Lieutenant Aaron Allan
- 2018: Boone County Deputy Sheriff Jacob Pickett and Terre Haute Police Department Officer Rob Pitts
To see Donnelly’s remarks in the Senate honoring fallen Hoosier law enforcement officers click here.
Donnelly said, in part, in his speech, “Together, we honor and remember the lives of the law enforcement officers we lost in the line of duty. These officers are heroes…When we lose an officer, that loss is felt deeply, particularly by their family – those who know them and love them. It is a grief that is also shared throughout the entire law enforcement community and throughout our state.”
Donnelly also spoke about his successful legislative efforts to support law enforcement officers:
IMPROVING LAW ENFORCEMENT MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES:
- Earlier this year, Donnelly’s bipartisan Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act was signed into law by President Trump.
- The law, which Donnelly authored and introduced with Senator Todd Young (R-IN), allows law enforcement agencies to establish or enhance mental health services for their officers.
- It also authorizes grants to initiate peer mentoring pilot programs, directs the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services to develop resources for mental health providers based on the specific mental health challenges faced by law enforcement, and supports law enforcement officers by studying the effectiveness of crisis hotlines and annual mental health checks.
- It also directs the Departments of Defense (DoD), Justice, and Veterans Affairs (VA) to confer about existing DoD and VA mental health practices and services that could be adopted by law enforcement agencies.
SUPPORTING THE CHILDREN OF FALLEN HEROES:
- A provision based on the bipartisan Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship Act—which Donnelly helped introduce—became law as part of the government funding bill earlier this year with his support. This would allow the children of fallen first responders who pursue a college education to have access to the maximum level of federal Pell Grant authorized by law. Donnelly has advocated for the legislation over the last three years.
SUPPORTING FUNDING FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT/PUBLIC SAFETY:
- Donnelly has consistently pushed for robust funding for the Byrne JAG program, which supports law enforcement agencies in their efforts to address the specific public safety and criminal justice challenges facing their communities.
SUPPORTING FUNDING FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES TO PURCHASE BULLETPROOF VESTS:
- Donnelly supported and helped enact the bipartisan Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program Reauthorization Act, which was signed into law in May 2016. It is helping agencies and departments, including in Indiana, to purchase life-saving bulletproof vests for officers.