Schumer wants high-tech devices for police to screen for opioids

Senator Chuck Schumer is pushing to get high-tech screening devices for police officers to identify dangerous opioids and opioid-related drugs while in the field. (WHAM photo)

Holley, N.Y. (WHAM) - Senator Chuck Schumer is pushing to get high-tech screening devices for police officers to identify dangerous opioids and opioid-related drugs while in the field.

The Democrat announced Friday that he wants Congress to pass the bipartisan Providing Officers with Electronic Resources (POWER) Act. The Department of Justice would authorize $20 million for the new devices.

The bill was originally introduced by Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) to create a new federal grant program to help officers safely identify dangerous drugs like fentanyl while in the field. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) have also joined together to pass the bill.

“It is not only ripping families apart, it is also putting our law enforcement officials at risk by exposing them to illegal and fatal substances such as fentanyl,” Schumer said.

RELATED: Your Voice, Your Future Town Hall: Opioid Epidemic: A Jailhouse Conversation

Schumer made the announcement in Orleans County because the county has already had 36 overdoses in 2018 - seven of which were fatal.

The POWER Act is one of several bills being brought up in Congress to deal with the national opioid crisis.

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