Washington Evening Journal
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Attorney General Brenna Bird visits Fairfield
FAIRFIELD — Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird stopped in Fairfield on Friday as part of a tour to visit the state’s 99 counties.
Bird visited The Well in Fairfield to learn about its charitable activities that involve helping people get back on their feet through job training and many other services.
“We heard good things about The Well, so we got a tour and learned about what they’re doing,” Bird said. “Issues such as substance abuse are very important to me as a prosecutor.”
Bird said that addressing drug addiction, particularly the rise in deaths due to fentanyl, is one of her priorities as attorney general. Bird addressed some of the hot button topics of the day surrounding substance abuse, such as her attitude toward efforts to legalize marijuana, a route that some states have gone down.
“My job as attorney general is to enforce the laws,” she said. “I don’t make the laws. That’s up to the Legislature. But I do not support legalizing marijuana. I think it is a gateway to other drugs, as I saw in my time as a prosecutor, like methamphetamine and fentanyl, which are deadly, addictive drugs.”
Bird said drug cartels are responsible for a large share of the hard drugs that enter the country, and stopping them has to be a priority, too.
On another contentious issue, that of reforming or eliminating qualified immunity for law enforcement officers, Bird said she opposed efforts to remove qualified immunity. She said the legal doctrine was necessary to protect officers, so they do not fear litigation for making split-second decisions.
“They have to make real-time judgment calls, and they are the ones putting their lives on the line in those dangerous situations,” she said. “If officers felt like they could be sued constantly for doing their jobs, they would not be proactive in enforcing the law, and we’d see fewer people wanting to be in that profession.”
Bird, a Republican who defeated incumbent Democrat Tom Miller for the office in the 2022 race, said a program she is proud of thus far is her office’s victim services listening sessions.
“We sit down with law enforcement and victim services agencies to make sure that we are serving crime victims,” she said. “No one chooses to be a victim of a crime, and I want to make sure that are serving all the victims in Iowa, in every county.”
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