EAST ST. LOUIS – State Senator Christopher Belt supported a number of measures signed into law aimed at helping law enforcement – including mental health support, pay increases, retention incentives, retirement assistance, day care help and other benefits.
“Law enforcement officials protect our communities,” said Belt (D-Swansea). “I was proud to vote for these laws that offer support and ensure that police officers have the tools and training to do their job.”
Among the new laws Belt supports are House Bill 3863, which creates the Law Enforcement Recruitment and Retention Fund to assist departments through the hiring and training processes and improve retention strategies. He also supported House Bill 1568, which permits employees of Sheriff’s Departments and Department of Corrections security employees and parole agents who are honorably retiring in good standing to purchase any badge previously issued to the employee by the employer and lowers the retirement age for eligible Tier 2 employees from age 60 to age 55.
Additionally, Belt supported House Bill 1321, which creates a First Responder Behavioral Health Grant Program. The program will create grants through the Department of Human Services related to mental health care services for first responders that units of local government, law enforcement agencies, fire protection districts, school districts, hospitals, and ambulance services that employ first responders may apply for.
“Officers risk their lives every day for our safety above their own,” Belt said. “Prioritizing their concerns will help keep our neighborhoods be safe. We need to continue advocating for law enforcement officials.”
Belt is a co-sponsor on all three measures that have been signed into law.