LEAPS

Law Enforcement Alliance for Peer Support

When The Unthinkable Happens

Mississippi Code 13-1-22.1 assures all communications with us are privileged.

Source: Mississippi Code/TITLE 13 EVIDENCE, PROCESS AND JURIES /CHAPTER 1 EVIDENCE / IN GENERAL /ยง 13-1-22.1. Certain communications made to certified peer support member by emergency responder to be privileged; definitions; exception to privilege; penalties.

 

(1) As used in this section, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

 

(a) "Certified peer support member" means a law enforcement officer, fireman or emergency medical technician of an emergency service agency or entity who has received training in critical incident stress management and who is certified as a peer support member by the State Board of Health or the Department of Public Safety to provide emotional and moral support to an emergency responder who needs those services as a result of job-related stress or an incident in which the emergency responder was involved while acting in his official capacity.

 

(b) "Peer support event" means any debriefing, defusing or counseling session conducted by a certified peer support member that involves the emotional or moral support of an emergency responder who needs those services as a result of job-related stress or an incident in which the emergency responder was involved while acting in his official capacity.

 

(2) A certified peer support member shall not be compelled, without the consent of the emergency responder making the communication, to testify or in any way disclose the contents of any communication made to the certified peer support member by the emergency responder while engaged in a peer support event. This privilege only applies when the communication was made to the certified peer support member during the course of an actual peer support event.

 

(3) The privilege shall not apply if:

 

(a) The certified peer support member was an initial emergency service responder, a witness or a party to the incident that prompted the providing of the peer support event to the emergency responder;

 

(b) A communication reveals the intended commission of a crime or harmful act and such disclosure is determined to be necessary by the certified peer support member to protect any person from a clear, imminent risk of serious mental or physical harm or injury, or to forestall a serious threat to the public safety; or

 

(c) A crime has been committed and divulged.

 

(4) Any certified peer support member who reveals the contents of a privileged communication, or any person who threatens, intimidates, or in any way attempts to compel a certified peer support member to disclose the contents of a privileged communication, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than six (6) months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.