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146th General Assembly
Senate Bill # 174 w/SA 1 + HA 2

Primary Sponsor: Bushweller Additional Sponsor(s):    Sen. Marshall Rep. Schwartzkopf
CoSponsors: Sens. DeLuca, Blevins, Bunting, Booth, Cloutier, Ennis, Hall-Long, Henry, Sokola, Lawson, Sorenson, Venables, Reps. Mitchell, M. Smith, Gilligan, Carson, Scott, Briggs King, J. Johnson, Atkins, Lee, Willis, Kenton, D. Short, Lavelle, Hocker, Jaques, Viola, Wilson, D.P. Williams
Introduced on : 03/20/2012
Long Title:AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 10, CHAPTER 43 OF THE DELAWARE CODE AS IT RELATES TO EVIDENCE AND WITNESSES.
Synopsis:First responders are placed in high-stress situations every time they are called upon to respond to an emergency or incident, since the extent of the emergency cannot be anticipated and the eventual outcome cannot be predicted. Many times first responders witness the death or serious injury to persons such as a young child or a fellow officer, become involved in a duty related shooting or in the investigation of a case where there has been a death or serious bodily injury inflicted upon a person. For example, stress caused by critical incidents have led to the law enforcement profession experiencing the second highest divorce rate in the nation. Similarly, police officers have one of the highest suicide rates among all professionals, and are more susceptible to domestic violence than those not affiliated with police work. Any first responder may develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after experiencing a critical incident, or after being exposed over a period of time to stress that he or she was unable to alleviate. PTSD can be debilitating to a first responder’s ability to function effectively in response to an emergency.

This bill creates a confidentiality privilege between the first responder and a Critical Incident Stress Management team or team member to encourage first responders to seek stress management services in order to alleviate the high levels of stress they may experience as a result of their exposure to a critical incident so that they may continue to function effectively during emergency situations.

CISM teams and team members are primarily comprised of first responders who have received training and certification from a nationally accredited CISM organization or network on peer-to-peer counseling. Peer-to-peer counseling is critical to the public safety as well as to safety and well-being of the first responder in that it is based upon trust and the confidence that comes from knowing that the officer is speaking with a peer who has had similar experiences with critical incidents. Imperative to the success of peer-to-peer counseling is confidentiality of a first responders’ statements given at the time CISM counseling is obtained by the first responder.

A CISM counselor may not be compelled to testify in any legal proceeding as to statements made by a first responder who has received CISM counseling from the counselor to the extent that the statements are made during the course of a recognized CISM counseling session.

The criteria for the privilege to attach are as follows:

1. The person holding the privilege must be a first responder;
2. The first responder must be acting in the course of his duties at the time he or she is exposed to the incident;
3. The first responder must have received CISM counseling as a result of a critical incident;
4. The CISM counselor must:
a. Be certified by a nationally accredited Critical Incident Stress Management organization or network which has been recognized by the Council on Police Training;
b. Have been approved by the Colonel or Chief of his or her police, fire or emergency medical services agency to function as a CISM counselor prior to and at the time the counseling takes place;
Current Status: Signed   On   05/10/2012
Volume Chapter78:236
Date Governor acted:05/10/2012
Full text of Legislation:
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Full text of Legislation:
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Legis.Docx   (Microsoft Word is required to view this document.)

Fiscal Notes/Fee Impact:Not Required
Amendments: SA 1 to SB 174 - Passed
HA 1 to SB 174 - Stricken
HA 2 to SB 174 - Passed
Committee Reports:
Senate Committee report 03/28/12 F=0 M=4 U=0----->Committee Report
House Committee Report 04/04/12 F=0 M=6 U=0---->Committee Report
Voting Reports:
Senate vote: () Passed 3/29/2012 4:31:40 PM------->Voting Record
House vote: () Passed 5/1/2012 4:30:02 PM------->Voting Record
Senate vote: () Passed 5/3/2012 4:58:37 PM------->Voting Record
Engrossed Version:
Engrossment------->Engrossment
Actions History:
May 10, 2012 - Signed by Governor
May 03, 2012 - Passed by Senate. Votes: Passed 19 YES 0 NO 0 NOT VOTING 2 ABSENT 0 VACANT
May 01, 2012 - Passed by House of Representatives. Votes: Passed 39 YES 0 NO 0 NOT VOTING 2 ABSENT 0 VACANT
May 01, 2012 - Amendment HA 2 - Passed in House by Voice Vote
May 01, 2012 - Amendment HA 2 - Introduced in House
May 01, 2012 - Amendment HA 1 - Stricken
Apr 26, 2012 - Amendment HA 1 - Introduced and Placed With Bill
Apr 04, 2012 - Reported Out of Committee (PUBLIC SAFETY & HOMELAND SECURITY) in House with 6 On Its Merits
Apr 03, 2012 - Introduced and Assigned to Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee in House
Mar 29, 2012 - Passed by Senate. Votes: Passed 20 YES 0 NO 0 NOT VOTING 1 ABSENT 0 VACANT
Mar 29, 2012 - Amendment SA 1 - Passed by Senate. Votes: Passed 20 YES 0 NO 0 NOT VOTING 1 ABSENT 0 VACANT
Mar 29, 2012 - Amendment SA 1 - Introduced in Senate
Mar 28, 2012 - Reported Out of Committee (JUDICIARY) in Senate with 4 On Its Merits
Mar 20, 2012 - Assigned to Judiciary Committee in Senate
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