Tester leads bipartisan effort to protect law enforcement from fentanyl exposure

senators PREVENT Act Equip and train customs and border guards with appropriate security tools

US Senator Jon Tester this week continued his push to strengthen border security and fight the fentanyl trade, introducing his bipartisan party Prevention of Exposure to Narcotics and Toxins (PREVENT) Act 2022, to ensure that federal law enforcement officers are adequately equipped to protect against secondary exposure to dangerous drugs such as fentanyl.

“The fentanyl trade is the cause of rapidly increasing overdoses and deaths in communities in Montana and across the country, and our law enforcement officials are on the front lines of the fight to stop it.” said tester. “I’m proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with law enforcement to support this bipartisan bill because we must give officers every means at their disposal to stay safe on the job while they work to improve our communities.” to protect.”

That PREVENT Act would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection to purchase containment devices, a crucial tool in keeping illegal narcotics safe, for all frontline border patrol officers. The legislation would also ensure officers receive adequate training in the use of containment devices to prevent potential exposure to synthetic opioids.

Tester was joined by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) introducing the bill. That PREVENT Act is also supported by the Federal Association of Law Enforcement Officers.

In the past year, record levels of fentanyl have crossed the border and ports of entry into the country, and according to the Montana Department of Health and Human Services, the number of fentanyl-related deaths in Montana has more than doubled. Customs and Border Protection and other federal law enforcement agencies are responsible for intercepting fentanyl and other illegal drugs at the border, and accidental exposure to these narcotics and toxins can be particularly dangerous without proper equipment and training.

As Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense and a former senior member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Tester is a leading national voice on homeland defense and border security. Earlier this month, Tester supported the Securing America’s borders against the fentanyl law Require DHS, along with other applicable authorities, to research and develop technology and strategies specifically designed to detect and detect illegal fentanyl before it can be smuggled into the United States. This bill would allocate $20 million to develop new technology to target and detect illegal fentanyl being smuggled into the US; enhanced targeting of counterfeit pills and illegal pill presses through non-contact and other visual screening technologies; and strengthen data-driven alignment to increase fentanyl seizure rates.

In April, Tester also backed two bipartisan bills to increase recruitment and retention of Customs and Border Patrol agents and US Border Patrol agents. tester Securing America’s Ports of Entry Act will require CBP to hire additional agents to meet staffing needs and its Border Patrol Pay Security Act will increase overtime pay for border guards.

In addition, Tester presented its non-partisanship in 2021 Assisting Narcotics and Human Trafficking Officers in the Interdiction of Drugs (ANTI) Drugs Act This would assist law enforcement in fighting drug trafficking by increasing resources for High Intensity Drug Task Forces (HIDTA), Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and Operation Stonegarden — programs that support law enforcement efforts to combat the drug epidemic and increase border security.

The full text of the invoice can be found here HERE.