Press Releases

Kuster-Backed Bill To Strengthen De-Escalation Training For Law Enforcement Sent To President’s Desk


Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) voted for legislation she cosponsored, the Law Enforcement De-escalation Training Act, to equip law enforcement officers with the tools to effectively and safely respond to people in crisis. By creating a dedicated stream of funding to local and state law enforcement agencies to train their officers and mental health professionals who work with them in de-escalation tactics, this bill will help law enforcement officers best respond to mental, behavioral, and suicidal crises and do their jobs safely.


“Law enforcement officers in New Hampshire and across the country put themselves in harm’s way each and every day – and, they are often on the front lines of mental health and substance use crises,” said Kuster. “We must ensure they have the tools and training needed to do their jobs safely. By expanding access to de-escalation training tactics, we can allow our local police officers to focus on keeping our communities safe and providing those experiencing mental health crises with the support they need. I was proud to cosponsor this legislation, and I urge the president to sign it into law.”


The bipartisan Law Enforcement De-escalation Training Act would:


  1. Require the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services to develop curricula in the training topics, or identifying existing curricula, in consultation with law enforcement, mental health organizations, family advocacy organizations, and civil liberties groups, among other stakeholders;
  2. Authorize $70 million in annual grant funding for training, including scenario-based exercises and evaluative assessments;
  3. And require the National Institute of Justice and the Government Accountability Office to evaluate the implementation of the program and the effect of the training, to ensure that the curricula have a tangible impact on law enforcement encounters with people in crisis, and identify possible changes that would further improve outcomes.