POWER Act Would Provide Law Enforcement with more Tools for Identifying Fentanyl

POWER Act Would Provide Law Enforcement with more Tools for Identifying Fentanyl

I was proud to join Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger as she spoke of the urgent need for Congress to pass the Providing Officers with Electronic Resources Act (POWER), which would establish a grant program to help state and local law enforcement organizations secure high-tech, portable screening devices to quickly detect and identify dangerous drugs — including fentanyl.
 
As Prince William County Police Department Chief Newsham reported, 177 County residents were lost to fentanyl overdose from 2021 to 2023, and the drug has killed 10 of our residents already this year. During that same time period, our police have confiscated more than 440,000 counterfeit pills (made to look like frequently misused prescription medication) laced with fentanyl. 

“Our goal here today is to call attention to this crisis, remind folks that this is real,” Newsham said. “These are real people who are dying. These are real families and real communities that are being impacted.”

As someone who lost his mother to health complications brought on by years of substance misuse, I know all too well the pain of losing a loved one to this preventable tragedy. We must do all we can to address the challenges of illicit drugs in our community, and fentanyl has become one of the deadliest. I appreciate the support and partnership of Congresswoman Spanberger, the County’s police and community service agencies, and other stakeholders as we collaborate to protect our children and most vulnerable communities from falling prey to the fentanyl crisis.
Read more about Congresswoman Spanberger’s bill in this Prince William Times article.