U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, reintroduced a bipartisan bill that would provide drug screening devices to state and local law enforcement departments.
According to Brown, the Providing Officers With Electronic Resources (POWER) Act would provide $20 million in grants to provide law enforcement agencies with portable screening devices that can detect drugs, including fentanyl. Brown said the devices are already in use by Customs and Border Protection agents following the Interdict Act which was signed into law in 2018.
“We know the presence of fentanyl has only gotten worse since 2018,” Brown said, adding the Drug Enforcement Agency has issued a public safety alert regarding a flood of deadly counterfeit opioid pills the contain fentanyl and methamphetamine. “Fentanyl is 50 times stronger than heroin, and Ohio officers know all too well that even coming into contact with it for a moment can be dangerous.
“These devices will allow officers to know instantly if a pill or substance poses a safety risk to them and their communities,” he continued.
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