By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) today voted for a series of bills designed to strengthen law enforcement officers’ ability to fight crime and drug abuse. Cook voted for three bills, which passed with broad bipartisan support.
Cook supported S. 32, the Transnational Drug Trafficking Act, making it easier for U.S. law enforcement officials to identify and target traffickers. The legislation prohibits the manufacture or distribution of controlled substances if such substances would be unlawfully imported into the United States, or within 12 miles of its coastline.
The second bill was the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program Reauthorization Act. This reauthorizes the Bulletproof Vest Partnership which allows the Department of Justice to provide body armor to state and local law enforcement personnel. There has been a spike in law enforcement deaths in recent years and this measure ensures adequate funding for this program through 2020.
Cook also voted for H.R. 2137, the Federal Law Enforcement Self-Defense and Protection Act. This bill grants federal law enforcement officers the same rights to carry a government-issued firearm during a furlough that exist when a furlough is not in effect. During the lapse in funding in 2013, approximately 1,800 federal officers were forced to hand over their government issued firearms while placed on involuntary furlough.
Rep. Cook said, “Our law enforcement officers are putting themselves in harm’s way everyday to make America safer. With drug overdose deaths on the rise and a recent increase in law enforcement deaths, we need to do everything we can to provide law enforcement with the resources they need to do their job safely.”
A member of the House Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.