WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) urged Senate leaders to pass U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) bill to keep deadly synthetic opioids like fentanyl out of Ohio. Citing the increasingly deadly opioid epidemic, National FOP President Chuck Canterbury pointed to Brown’s legislation as a priority for making sure law enforcement officers have the necessary resources as they work to keep deadly synthetic opioids from entering the country.
“Our law enforcement officers at the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are on the forefront of stopping the deadly influx of synthetic fentanyl into our communities from these foreign countries. The CBP needs all the resources they can get to stop this devastating flow of drugs into our country,” President Canterbury wrote.
Several state and national law enforcement organizations, including the Ohio FOP and the Buckeye Sheriff’s Association, have endorsed Brown’s bill. Brown’s bill is also supported by U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Brown is supporting Portman’s STOP Act, which is also endorsed by law enforcement. The two bills work together to help block the deadly synthetic opioid from reaching Ohio communities.
During a Senate Finance Committee Hearing in October, Brown secured a commitment from CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan to work with Brown to make sure customs agents have the equipment to identify fentanyl and keep the deadly drug out of Ohio.
Brown’s bill would authorize $15 million for hundreds of new screening devices, laboratory equipment, facilities, and personnel for 24x7 lab support. The money will be used to:
- Provide more portable chemical screening devices at ports of entry and mail and express consignment facilities and additional fixed chemical screening devices available in CBP laboratories.
- Provide CBP with sufficient resources, personnel, and facilities — including scientists available during all operational hours — to interpret screening test results from the field.
Providing CBP with more screening devices and lab support will not only stop more Fentanyl from coming into the U.S., it will also protect more agents in the field from exposure to dangerous substances.
Full text of FOP’s letter to Senate leadership can be found here and below:
Dear Senators McConnell and Schumer,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to urge the Senate to consider H.R. 2142, the “International Narcotics Trafficking Emergency Response by Detecting Incoming Contraband with Technology (INTERDICT) Act,” which passed the House 412-3 in October.
Heroin and prescription opiates have created a devastating epidemic across our country, and now these overdoses outnumber gunshot deaths and motor vehicle deaths. This epidemic has worsened with the influx of synthetic opiates like fentanyl from foreign countries, especially China and Mexico. For example, synthetic fentanyl is cheaper than normal opiates bought on the street and is 50 times more deadly than heroin.
Our law enforcement officers at the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are on the forefront of stopping the deadly influx of synthetic fentanyl into our communities from these foreign countries. The CBP needs all the resources they can get to stop this devastating flow of drugs into our country.
This legislation will ensure that CBP will have additional portable chemical screening devices at ports of entry, mail and express consignment facilities, and more fixed chemical screening devices at CBP laboratories. The bill will also provide CBP with sufficient resources, personnel, and facilities; including scientists to interpret the screening test results from the field.
With all the additional resources CBP will be better equipped on all fronts to thwart the deadly flow of synthetic opiates across our borders.
On behalf of the more than 330,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I want to thank you for helping fight against the heroin and opioid epidemic and fighting every day to rid our communities of these drugs. If I can be of any additional help to you, please feel free to contact me or my Senior Advisor, Jim Pasco, in my Washington office.