As part of National Police Week, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’s introducing a number of pieces of legislation designed to help those who dedicate their careers, and too often their lives, to protecting and serving our communities.
“This week, I’m pushing several bills in the Senate Judiciary Committee to improve the mental health resources for cops,” Grassley says, “and to ensure that those disabled in the line of duty receive the assistance that they’ve been promised.” While the past year of COVID-19 has been hard on everyone, Grassley says the pandemic has been especially difficult for law officers who, day in and day out, have repeatedly been exposed to the virus throughout the course of their duties.
“Our law enforcement supports our communities each and every day,” Grassley says. “These bills are a way to give back to the people in blue.” There’s been a law on the books since the 1970s that provides federal grants to front-line workers who are harmed in the line of duty. Grassley says that needed to be updated with his bill, the Helping Families of First Responders Act, so the families of police officers and others will still be covered, regardless of how COVID-19 may’ve been contracted.
“If they die of the virus, they will still get the money from the federal treasury, the family will, because it’s just impossible to show where you got the virus,” Grassley says. “You may’ve got it in church on Sunday when you weren’t on duty or you may’ve got it when you were helping people that had the virus.”
Grassley, a Republican, says efforts must be made to “back the blue,” as he says the number of applications being submitted to join several of Iowa’s largest police departments are down dramatically in recent months.