Dear Senators Brown and Cotton,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our support for S. 1507, the “Providing Officers with Electronic Resources (POWER) Act.”
Prescription opiates and other recreationally abused substances have created a devastating epidemic across our country, and overdoses from these drugs now outnumber deaths from gunfire and motor vehicles. Recently, this epidemic has worsened with the influx of synthetic opiates like fentanyl into our communities from foreign countries, especially China and Mexico. Many turn to extreme drugs like synthetic fentanyl because it is cheaper than normal opiates bought on the street. However, it is also 50 times deadlier than heroin.
Our State and local law enforcement officers, who are on the forefront of preventing the deadly influx of synthetic fentanyl into their communities, need all of the resources they can get to address this crisis.
Your legislation will establish a grant program within the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) to aid State and local law enforcement in obtaining portable chemical screening devices to identify the substances they encounter daily. This equipment is necessary to stop these deadly drugs before they hit our streets and take more lives.
On behalf of the more than 367,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I thank you both for your leadership on this issue. If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco in our Washington office.