Tom Waring, the Wire
U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-8th dist.) released a statement recognizing National Police Week 2016.
“Each year, we set aside one week to recognize the call to service and profound commitment to duty embodied in our law enforcement officers – in Bucks and Montgomery counties and across the nation,” he said.
Recently, Fitzpatrick’s Children of Fallen Heroes Act passed the Senate. The bipartisan bill increases the amount of Pell Grant money available to qualifying students who are the children of fallen law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMS workers and fire police. If the child of a fallen first responder qualifies for Pell Grant aid, this bill would make the student eligible for the maximum Pell Grant award authorized by law, currently $5,730 per year for a full-time student.
Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick, a member of the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse, joined the House in passing a package of more than a dozen bipartisan bills addressing the nation’s growing opioid epidemic.
“The dangerous abuse of prescription drugs and opioids is a national concern with local implications,” he said. “The cost of this epidemic in terms of both lives and funds is unacceptable and requires a head-on response. While I’m pleased that the House has taken action, there is more that must be done at all levels. Community-based efforts, combined with work at the federal level, must be collaborative and multi-focused – addressing the dangerous connection between over-prescription of opioid painkillers and addiction, empowering law enforcement to attack the source of supply and distribution, and committing to educational and recovery programs that address these issues.”
In Pennsylvania, heroin overdoses and opioid abuse kill more people than homicides or influenza. Additionally, every 12 minutes, someone dies of a drug overdose in the United States.
“We are awash in a tide of heroin and opiate abuse. While we in law enforcement are always grateful for more resources to investigate unlawful drug distribution, we simply can’t ‘arrest’ our way out of this epidemic: We have to reduce the demand and help those in the throes of addiction,” said Bucks County Assistant District Attorney Matt Weintraub. “The Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act of 2016, and other legislation like it, helps us by providing funding for much-needed collaboration between criminal justice and substance abuse agencies. This will enable us to develop and expand programs to prevent, treat and respond to opioid abuse.”
Fitzpatrick has added a resource page on his website for constituents seeking more information about heroin and drug abuse at www.fitzpatrick.house.gov/epidemic