AN ACT TO REQUIRE PSYCHOLOGICAL SCREENINGS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS PRIOR TO CERTIFICATION OR EMPLOYMENT, TO EDUCATE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS ON MAINTAINING GOOD MENTAL HEALTH, AND TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS ON MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES AVAILABLE.
Amends GS 17C-10, concerning the NC Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission and criminal justice officers, and GS 17E-7, concerning the NC Sheriff's Education and Training Standards Commission and justice officers, to require both Commissions to include the administration of a psychological screening exam prior to certification or employment to determine the officer's mental and emotional suitability to properly fulfill the responsibilities of a criminal justice or justice officer, respectively.
Amends GS 17C-6 and GS 17E-4 to require both Commissions to include in the minimum educational and training standards for entry level employment, education and training to develop knowledge and increase awareness of effective mental health and wellness strategies for criminal justice officers and justice officers, respectively. Adds identical requirements to the minimum standards for in-service training for criminal justice officers and justice officers, adding that the standards established to meet the requirement must include two hours of training on the issue every three years. Encourages adopting standards that provide training conducted by mental health professionals and through in-person instruction.
Requires implementation of the above provisions by January 1, 2022. Provides that the requirements apply to certifications issued and employees entering employment on or after the implementation date of those requirements.
Requires both Commissions to regularly provide information on any statewide mental health resources specifically available to criminal justice officers or justice officers to all criminal justice agencies or departments in the state that employ officers certified by either Commission.
Requires all criminal justice agencies or departments in the state that employ certified criminal justice officers or certified justice officers to coordinate with the appropriate LME/MCO or prepaid health plan to make information on State and local mental health resources and programs easily available to all employees and develop policies to encourage employees to utilize the resources available.
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