Opinion: Senator Sherrod Brown’s Bill Would Help Law Enforcement Officers Like Me Keep Ohio Safe from Fentanyl

While other politicians are only interested in pointing fingers and assigning blame amid this addiction epidemic, Senator Brown is focused on solutions.

Jun 30, 2023 at 12:53 pm
click to enlarge Hamilton County Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey - Photo: Courtesy of Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey
Photo: Courtesy of Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey
Hamilton County Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey

Right now, the United States is experiencing the worst drug crisis in history. 

Here in Ohio, fentanyl-related deaths increased by one third during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in 2021, fentanyl was involved in 80 percent of unintentional drug overdose deaths. 

Behind every fact and figure, though, is a human being lost too soon. Their loved ones left behind to mourn. 

We’re using every tool in our toolbox to keep our communities safe. But we can’t do it alone. 

As officers, we’re working day in and day out to keep dangerous drugs like fentanyl out of Hamilton County while also working to get Ohioans the help they need to overcome the ongoing addiction crisis facing our state. 

And recently, we were encouraged by the work going on at the federal level to support us. 

Earlier this month, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown introduced bipartisan legislation, the FEND Off Fentanyl Act to help keep Ohio officers and families safe and keep these deadly drugs out of Ohio. 

This week, I stood with the senator to proudly endorse this bill. 

Senator Brown’s bill would crack down on fentanyl at the source, creating real consequences for criminals and bad actors in Mexico and China who try to traffic these drugs across the U.S. border and get more of our citizens hooked. 

We can’t meaningfully stop these drugs from coming across the border and getting into our state without going straight to the source. And that’s exactly what Senator Brown’s bill does. 

The FEND Off Fentanyl Act would allow the U.S. government to sanction criminal organizations and drug cartels who try to traffick fentanyl across our border while reinvesting money right back to law enforcement agencies to give us the resources we need to keep our communities safe.

It would bolster the tools federal law enforcement has to track these bad actors and sanction them.

And it would declare fentanyl trafficking a national emergency, something that every law enforcement officer who’s on the frontline of this crisis knows is a common sense solution. 

While other politicians are only interested in pointing fingers and assigning blame amid this addiction epidemic, Senator Brown is focused on solutions. 

Because Senator Brown has seen the effects of this fentanyl crisis up close. 

He’s met with and heard directly from law enforcement officers, addiction treatment providers and patients who have overcome addiction, and as a result, he knows what our state needs. 

And he works with members of both parties to find solutions. He’s gotten legislation signed into law already, from the INTERDICT Act, which gives law enforcement scanners to detect fentanyl more easily, to the bipartisan PREVENT Act, which allows state and local governments to purchase containment devices to safely store dangerous drugs.

He’s been a leader in keeping these dangerous drugs out of Ohio and keeping our families safe, working with folks from both parties to get legislation signed into law and resources directly to law enforcement in our local communities. 

Ohioans have no better champion than Senator Brown, and I’m hopeful to see his FEND Off Fentanyl Act signed into law soon. 

Charmaine McGuffey has served as the Hamilton County Sheriff since 2021.

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