Senator Brown proposes bill to get drug screening equipment to fight opioids

Senator Sherrod Brown partners with police to get drug screening equipment (WRGT/WKEF)

DAYTON, Ohio (WRGT/WKEF)- Senator Sherrod Brown joined Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl Sunday morning to discuss his bill to improve Ohio's law enforcement regarding drug detection equipment.

The number of people overdosing in the Miami Valley is down from a year ago however, the work doesn’t get easier for police and firefighters.

“Despite a reduction in overdose incidents and deaths with fentanyl as a contributing factor… fentanyl continues to be a risk to the law enforcement community in both day to day work and interdiction efforts,” said Biehl.

The Providing Officer with Electronic Resources, or the Power Act was signed earlier this year and is cosponsored by Senator Rob Portman.

The bipartisan bill would help officers identify harmful substances safely by providing high-tech devices to detect dangerous drugs like fentanyl. The handheld device would use laser technology to detect harmful substances and match those substances with a library of thousands of compounds that is categorized within the device.

“These are families that are affected, these are police officers that risk their lives and their public safety when they come into a situation where they don’t really know what’s happening behind those doors. They don’t know about the exposure to potential fentanyl and carfentanil.” said Brown.

If the bill passed, it could help local and state police receive screening equipment to analyze harmful substances. These devices are already in use by federal law enforcement at U.S. ports of entry.

“Following our success in securing new screening devices for federal law enforcement agents earlier this year, we need to give Ohio officers the same tools to address Ohio’s opioid epidemic and protects themselves from dangerous drugs like fentanyl.” said Brown

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