Dear Representative Newhouse,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our support for H.R. 7189, the “School Resource Officers Save Lives Act.”
Drug overdose deaths have continued to surge across the United States. These have primarily been caused by opioid-related drugs. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined that approximately 100,000 Americans have died as a result of an overdose since April 2021. The vast majority of these deaths, more than 75,000, have come from opioids. This is nearly a 35% increase from the same period in 2020. Similar data from 2019 has indicated that there were more than 3,000 deaths for those under the age of 24. Action must be taken to save lives and prevent further damage from being inflicted on our communities.
This legislation would amend the 21st Century Cures Act and would establish a pilot program to be administered by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This pilot program would award grants in the amount of five million for fiscal years 2022 and 2023. These grants would go to school districts for training school resource officers, security personnel, and school nurses on the proper administration of naloxone. Additionally, these funds could also be used for the purchase of naloxone kits. When awarding these grants, the Secretary will also be required to ensure that no less than 50 percent of the recipients come from a school district located in a rural area. Lastly, recipients of these grants will be required to ensure that all school resource officers, or any qualifying security personnel, are always trained on the proper use and administration of naloxone.
On behalf of the more than 364,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, we are proud to support this necessary legislation. If I can provide any additional information about this bill, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco in our Washington, D.C. office.