Legislation introduced at the Capitol could make it easier for police and first responders to obtain workers compensation for post traumatic stress disorder.
State Senator Andre Jaque (R-DePere) said current law is based on a decades old court ruling that makes it extremely difficult to obtain such help.
“They’re expected to just say ‘well, that’s part of the job, you should just have to suck that up essentially, and accept that you are going to be traumatized and retraumatized on a regular basis,” he said during a Monday public hearing on the measure.
Current law requires police and first responders with a mental health condition but no accompanying physical injury to show that their diagnosis was based on unusual stress or strain greater than that experienced by other employees.
“This legislation without a doubt will save lives, and it will save careers of officers that deserve that opportunity,” said Jim Palmer with the Wisconsin Professional Police Association.