WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) reintroduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation that would provide state and local law enforcement with high-tech devices to detect and identify dangerous drugs like fentanyl. The Providing Officers with Electronic Resources (POWER) Act would establish a new grant program through the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to help state and local law enforcement organizations secure high-tech, portable screening devices. Brown introduced the bill with Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and U.S. Representatives Conor Lamb (D-PA) and David Joyce (R-OH).

The POWER Act gives law enforcement officers access to the same high-tech screening devices Brown secured for Customs and Border Protection agents in the INTERDICT Act, which former President Trump signed into law in 2018. 

Read what they’re saying about Brown’s reintroduction of the POWER Act:

Sandusky Register: Bill would protect law enforcement

  • “[Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry] Greene said the bill would also help address backlogs of drugs waiting for laboratory identification, allowing law enforcement to more effectively investigate and prosecute drug trafficking.”

Northwest Signal: Bill would help law enforcement receive drug-screening devices

  • “‘To have an additional tool like this to be able to implement out in the field is really priceless for us,” [Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene] continued, adding in the course of running a prison, officers have been exposed to fentanyl during the pat-down process. ‘They didn’t go as far as overdosing, but they got light-headed and had to be treated at the hospital.’”

The Vindicator: Brown sponsors drug detection device bill

  • “Joining Brown on the call was Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene, who said having ‘an additional tool out in the field is priceless for us.’”
  • “Greene said he was very pleased that Democrats and Republicans have come together to back the proposal.”

27 WKBN, Youngstown: Ohio senators team up with goal of providing more resources for local law enforcement

  • “Both of Ohio’s U.S. senators say local law enforcement needs additional resources to control the surge of illegal drugs flooding into the state. The measure, known as the ‘Providing Officers with Electronic Resources,’ or ‘POWER Act;’ would provide money to buy portable drug screening devices so local police officers can detect substances like fentanyl on the streets — instead of having to wait for state lab results.”

7 WTRF, Wheeling/Steubenville: POWER Act could empower law enforcement to fight off deaths of despair

  • “Senator Brown calls it an issue that defies party politics—because it’s a problem that crosses both red and blue states. While he says it won’t be cheap, it’s a necessary step to undo the devastation addiction has created.”