HERKIMER -- Senator Chuck Schumer, (D)-New York, is calling on congress to pass a bill that he says could keep law enforcement safe on the job.
Schumer says the drug Fentanyl is extremely dangerous and can be fatal if it gets on your skin or if you breathe it in. At a press conference in Herkimer Friday, Schumer discussed how he's trying to prevent local law enforcement from coming in contact with the drug.
"When our police men and women go over to a crime that's in progress, go over to arrest a drug dealer, go into a drug crime situation, there could be Fentanyl there and they don't know it," Schumer said.
A proposed bipartisan bill, the Power Act, could give local law officials money for scanning devices that detect Fentanyl. Schumer says the Power Act will help local law enforcement combat the opiod crisis.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that drug experts say is 50 to 100 times stronger than heroin. Studies show that last year alone, there were over 200 heroine and fentanyl overdoses in Oneida County and Herkimer county. Herkimer County Sheriff Chris Farber says the scanning devices would be helpful in dangerous situations.
"They're lacing heroin and cocaine, and other illicit drugs with Fentanyl and Carfentanil, and people are dying across the United States," Farber said. "You never know when you're going to get a drug that's tainted with this substance."
The scanning devices cost between $30,000-$80,000. The money fror the devices would come from the U.S. Deptartment of Justice. Schumer says he's trying to get the Power Act included in the budget for December.
"We tried to do it by what's called unanimous consent, meaning all 100 senators agreed, in September and only one senator objected," Schumer said. "In December if we have a vote, it should pass overwhelmingly."