April 17, 2024

Wood County Sheriff to be Guest at State of the Union

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that he will host Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn as his guest at the State of the Union on Thursday, March 7. Brown joined Sheriff Wasylyshyn on a trip to the southern U.S. border in November, and they are working together to ensure that law enforcement have the tools and support they need to keep communities safe and address the fentanyl crisis devastating Ohio communities.

“Sheriff Wasylyshyn is on the frontlines of fighting the fentanyl crisis and has seen up close what needs to be done to keep Ohio communities safe,” said Brown. “The best ideas come from Ohio, not Washington, and the Sheriff has been an invaluable advocate as we work together to ensure Ohio law enforcement get what they need to protect their communities.”

“I am very humbled and honored to be U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown’s guest for the State of the Union Address. As an Executive Committee and Board member of the National Sheriffs Association, former President of the Buckeye State Sheriffs Association, Sheriff of Wood County, Ohio since 2005, and son of immigrants from Ukraine, I have had numerous interactions with Senator Brown. Sherrod Brown has been instrumental in advancing legislation that helps sheriffs fight fentanyl and keep terrorists out of our country, and on a personal note, he has strongly backed support for Ukraine in its fight against Putin’s aggression. When Senator Brown and I went to the southern border together in November, Senator Brown was very engaged with all the groups we met with including several county sheriffs, Texas Department of Public Safety, border patrol agents, and others affected by those crossing the border into our country,” said Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn.

Photo courtesy of Senator Brown’s Office (Facebook.com/SenSherrodBrown)

“I look forward to continuing to work with Senator Brown. As Senator Brown once stated to me, ‘we may be of different political parties but that doesn’t mean we cannot work together on items we have a common interest in,’” continued Wasylyshyn.

Brown and Sheriff Wasylyshyn visited the border in South Texas in November and heard firsthand from Texas Department of Public Safety and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agents about the tools they need to stop the deadly flow of fentanyl, stop the cartels’ human and drug trafficking, and secure the border. Last month, Brown supported the bipartisan border security bill which would have provided much-needed resources, personnel and technology to law enforcement at the southern border, and had the endorsement of the National Border Patrol Council.

As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Brown has worked with Ohio law enforcement to advance his bipartisan FEND Off Fentanyl Act which passed the Senate in the annual defense bill this summer. The legislation imposes new sanctions and anti-money laundering penalties targeting the illicit fentanyl supply chain, from the chemical suppliers in China to the cartels that transport the drugs in from Mexico. The legislation was included in the bipartisan border security bill.

Brown helped pass the bipartisan PREVENT Act which provides both drug containment devices to frontline border patrol agents and training on their proper use. Following passage, Brown introduced the Protecting First Responders from Secondary Exposure Act, bipartisan, bicameral legislation that aims to help state and local governments purchase containment devices to safely store dangerous drugs and preserve them for evidentiary use, and provide first responders training to reduce their risk of secondary exposure to lethal substances.

In May 2023, Brown introduced the Providing Officers with Electronic Resources (POWER) Act which would establish a new grant program through the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to help state and local law enforcement organizations secure these high-tech, portable screening devices. This legislation builds off Brown’s INTERDICT Act, which President Trump signed into law and which provides U.S. Customs and Border Protection with additional high-tech screening equipment and lab resources to detect fentanyl before it enters the U.S.

Brown is a champion for Ohio law enforcement. He is pushing to pass the Social Security Fairness Act, which will ensure that law enforcement receive full Social Security benefits and is fighting for the Expanding Health Care Options for First Responders Act, a bill to allow retired first responders—including police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical services personnel—to buy into Medicare beginning at age 50.

*Press Release from Senator Brown’s Office

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