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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 4, 2018 10:58 PM
From: Senator Patrick M. Browne
To: All Senate members
Subject: Interstate Drug Interdiction and Enforcement Compact
I will be introducing legislation that was introduced last session by Senator Greenleaf as Senate Bill 348, establishing the Interstate Drug Interdiction and Enforcement Compact, which states may join in an effort to combat the illicit drug trade that is occurring in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States.

Drug trafficking, drug abuse and the crime and violence associated with the drug trade are vital public safety issues for Pennsylvania as well as other states. The drug trade has exacted a heavy toll on United States citizens by jeopardizing our communities, hurting families and threatening the welfare of our children.

According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in FY 2011 it processed more than 340 million travelers and 24.3 million containers through our nation’s ports of entry. CBP officers and agents were able to seize nearly five million pounds of illegal drugs. Every day the CBP processes nearly one million travelers seeking to enter the United States. In this large volume of trade, drug traffickers hide cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine shipments for distribution in our neighborhoods.

The federal government has undertaken efforts to help state and local law enforcement officials stem the tide of illegal drugs through initiatives such as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces. While these cooperative efforts have been helpful in disrupting the illicit drug market, I believe that we need to build upon such joint efforts and further promote collaboration and coordination among all state law enforcement agencies to reduce or eliminate the national and international trafficking of drugs.

The Crime Control Act, 4 U.S.C. §112 (1965) authorizes and encourages states to form interstate compacts for cooperative efforts and mutual assistance in the prevention of crime. My legislation would create and authorize Pennsylvania to join the Interstate Drug Interdiction and Enforcement Compact. The purpose of this compact is to permit state law enforcement departments or agencies (e.g., Pennsylvania State Police) to enter into mutual assistance and support agreements with one or more state law enforcement departments or agencies of one or more other states in order to facilitate and coordinate efficient, cooperative enforcement efforts directed toward drug interdiction and counter-drug and demand reduction activities. The state law enforcement department or agency may also enter into memorandums of understanding or agreements with local law enforcement agencies to help provide mutual assistance and support to a state requesting help.

The Governor of a compacting state would have the authority to request assistance and to send law enforcement personnel. The compact sets forth the powers, rights and obligations of the parties to the agreement. Any agreement must be approved by each state’s Attorney General. Law enforcement personnel of any compacting state engaged in the performance of duties shall not be held personally liable for any acts or omissions which occur during the performance of their duties. The compact shall enter into force and effect when enacted into law by any two states. A compacting state may withdraw from the compact by specifically repealing the statute which enacted the compact into law.

Introduced as SB546