Cornyn, Whitehouse, Colleagues’ Bill to Equip Law Enforcement with Trauma Kits Passes Senate
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Chris Coons (D-DE) released the following statements after their American Law Enforcement Sustaining Aid and Vital Emergency Resources (SAVER) Act, which would equip law enforcement officers with quality trauma kits that allow them to immediately respond to civilian or first responder injuries during emergency calls, passed the Senate:
“When law enforcement officers arrive on the scene of a health emergency, they can only do so much to triage an injury if they don’t have the proper resources,” said Sen. Cornyn. “This bipartisan legislation would equip our brave men and women in uniform with the tools to quickly respond when it matters most, and I’m grateful to my Senate colleagues for recognizing the need for this potentially lifesaving legislation.”
“Police officers should have access to every life-saving intervention available,” said Sen. Whitehouse. “I am pleased the Senate passed our bipartisan legislation to provide law enforcement officers with standardized emergency trauma kits – important tools to save lives.”
“As a strong supporter of our brave men and women in law enforcement, I am proud to co-introduce this legislation which would equip them with the tools they need to keep our communities safe,” said Sen. Tillis. “Ensuring law enforcement officers have effective trauma kits, will save countless lives, and make our communities safer.”
“As co-chair of the Senate Law Enforcement Caucus, I know that it’s critical for Congress to prioritize giving law enforcement the tools they need to adequately respond to a variety of emergency situations, both to protect the lives of other officers and members of the communities they are charged to protect and serve,” said Sen. Coons. “I was proud to join my Senate colleagues in passing this commonsense, bipartisan piece of legislation. Ensuring that police and other law enforcement officers obtain quality, effective trauma kits will save lives.”
The legislation is cosponsored by Senators Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Alex Padilla (D-CA).
The effectiveness of a law enforcement trauma kit program depends in part on the contents and the quality of the kits. Medical professionals recommend that a kit include bleeding control supplies like tourniquets, bandages, non-latex gloves, scissors, and instructions. However, there is enormous variation in the products available on the market. The American Law Enforcement SAVER Act would:
- Establish baseline standards in consultation with law enforcement and medical professionals for trauma kits purchased using grant funding under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG);
- And require the development of optional best practices that law enforcement agencies can adapt for training law enforcement officers to use trauma kits and for deployment and maintenance of the kits in vehicles and government facilities.
The legislation is endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, National Association of Police Organizations, Sergeants Benevolent Association NYPD, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, Major Cities Chiefs Association, Major County Sheriffs of America, Louisiana Association of Chiefs of Police, Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association, Peace Officers Research Association of California, Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police, National Criminal Justice Association, The Wounded Blue, American Trauma Society, Society of Trauma Nurses, American College of Surgeons, and American College of Emergency Physicians.