MIL-OSI USA: LaLota and Correa Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Help Law Enforcement Fight Scourge of Fentanyl and Xylazine

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Source: United States House of Representatives – Representative Nick LaLota (NY-01)

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, Reps. Nick LaLota (NY-01) and Lou Correa (CA-46), members of the Homeland Security Committee,introduced the bipartisan Detection Equipment and Technology Evaluation to Counter the Threat of (DETECT) Fentanyl and Xylazine Act. This legislation would authorize the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct research and development, testing, and evaluation on equipment that would help law enforcement better detect fentanyl and other drugs.

This legislation is the House companion to S. 4419, introduced by Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX), Jon Ossoff (D-GA), and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) in May.

“Illicit narcotics such as fentanyl and xylazine have hurt communities across this country, including at home on Long Island. We must give law enforcement every tool needed to keep our communities safe while enhancing public awareness about these substances’ effects,” said LaLota. “I am proud to partner with Congressman Correa on the bipartisan DETECT Fentanyl and Xylazine Act to help our law enforcement agencies better combat these substances that have claimed too many lives and left countless families in despair. I am committed to ending this public health pandemic and fighting to make sure every ounce of these narcotics are off our streets and out of our communities.”

“Illegal drug smugglers have made it their mission to poison our neighborhood with illicit drugs by evading detection whenever, and wherever, they can. Those tasked with protecting our homeland should have the best technology available to find the smallest amounts of fentanyl possible to protect those we represent and keep our streets safe,” said Correa. “By allowing law enforcement to research and develop new, cutting-edge technologies to better detect fentanyl and other drugs, we will better keep our communities safe.”

To read the full text of this legislation, click HERE.

Background:

The DETECT Fentanyl and Xylazine Act would:

  • Create a new statutory responsibility for the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) at the Department of Homeland Security to carry out research, development, testing, evaluation, and cost-benefit analysis to improve the safety, effectiveness, and efficiency of drug detection equipment and reference libraries used by Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies;
  • Establish three focus areas with flexibility to adopt other focuses in the future: (1) Portable detection equipment that requires minimal handling of sample; (2) Equipment that can separate complex mixtures with low concentrations of drugs and high concentrations of cutting agents into parts to enable detection; and (3) Technologies that use AI and machine learning to predict whether a substance is a controlled substance analog (e.g., a fentanyl analog) or other new psychoactive substance not yet included in a reference library;
  • Require S&T to follow the recommendations, guidelines, and best practices set out in the federal government’s Artificial Intelligence Risk Management Framework; and
  • Direct S&T to look to the DEA’s State and Territory Report on Enduring and Emerging Threats in establishing priorities.

This legislation is endorsed by the National Association of Police Organizations, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the Sergeants Benevolent Association of the NYPD, the National Border Patrol Council, the National Treasury Employees Union, the National Narcotic Officers’ Associations’ Coalition, Shatterproof, the National HIDTA Directors Association, and the National Association of Counties.

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