Washington, D.C. – In an effort to boost community safety across Pennsylvania, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) has introduced the Law Enforcement Resources and Community Safety Act of 2018. Specifically, this package would provide resources to keep first responders safe from fentanyl exposure on the job, strengthen witness protection programs and address state and local problems associated with drug trafficking, gangs and organized crime.
“Ensuring the health and safety of families across Pennsylvania is one of my top priorities,” said Senator Casey. “That’s why I’ve introduced these measures to strengthen our existing public safety tools, including new protections against drug trafficking and organized crime. Ensuring that state and local officials have what they need to protect themselves and our communities is a step in the right direction and I urge my colleagues to join me in this effort.”
Casey’s Law Enforcement Resources and Community Safety Act of 2018 comprises three bills, including The State Witness Protection Act, The COPS Safe Streets Act and The First Responder Fentanyl Safety Act.
The First Responder Fentanyl Safety Act builds on existing law, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), by clarifying that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) may make CARA grant funds available for the purchase of personal protective equipment and detection devices to help first responders stay safe from drug exposure as they do their jobs.
The State Witness Protection Act provides resources to State and local governments for witness protection programs and allows federal prosecutors to investigate and bring charges on witness intimidation. This legislation also outlines and updates stronger penalties for witness intimidation.
The COPS Safe Streets Act authorizes a billion dollars in grant funding over five years for state and local law enforcement to address organized crime and gang-related violence, including transnational criminal groups.