Bill to prevent police officer suicides signed into law

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse says a bill he sponsored to prevent police officer suicides has been signed into law.

The Rhode Island Democrat sponsored the Supporting and Treating Officers in Crisis Act with Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley.

Whitehouse said Friday that President Donald Trump signed it into law. The legislation authorizes $7.5 million annually for five years for law enforcement mental health and support services.

Whitehouse says he’s proud that communities will get more resources to help members of law enforcement deal with what they must bear to keep people safe. Hawley says it’ll save lives.

U.S. Reps. Guy Reschenthaler, a Pennsylvania Republican, and Madeleine Dean, a Pennsylvania Democrat, sponsored companion legislation.

Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements says the stress and trauma officers experience can become overwhelming over time.

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