County police receive grant to fight heroin
The Baltimore County Police Department (BCPD) has received a state grant to address and fight heroin use in Baltimore County.
Governor Larry Hogan’s administration is providing $3 million in state grants across the state “to help eradicate the heroin epidemic in Maryland,” a press release said.
On Aug. 8, Baltimore County received $56,345 to hire and support a heroin coordinator.
The heroin coordinator will use data input and analysis in order to help law enforcement identify and track drug traffickers in the region.
Maryland’s Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force has said that the state should designate the Baltimore-Washington High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area as the “central repository for all Maryland drug intelligence.”
“Throughout Maryland, from our smallest town to our biggest city, heroin is destroying lives,” said Governor Ho- gan in a statement. “A coordinated law enforcement and treatment response is essential to our administration’s ability to help fight this epidemic and provide our citizens with the lifesaving support they need. These heroin coordinators will work to ensure that every drug seizure, arrest, and investigation is documented and uploaded into extensive shared databases to give us a clear picture of the paths these deadly drugs take to get into our communities. And our peer recovery specialists will work to ensure offenders with addictions get the treatment and support they need to get on the road to recovery.”
All Maryland jurisdictions will participate in the extensive data sharing program, leading to a more integrated and investigative strategy for addressing heroin-related crime, according to Glenn Fueston, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention.
The Heroin Coordinator Grant program will “advance statewide investigations and prosecutions of drug traffickers, as well as referrals for treatment for individuals struggling with addiction,” Fueston said.
Spokesman Cpl.John Wachter said that the Baltimore County Police Department is in the process of hiring a heroin coordinator. The person should be hired in about a month, he said.
“Ultimately, this position will support investigators in prioritizing cases and identifying where we can have the biggest impact,” Wachter said. “It will allow investigators to spend more time on the street and not entering data.”
The Heroin Coordinator position will be responsible for “data entry and information sharing with regional and federal partners, identification and de-confliction of potential heroin dealers, analysis and monitoring of heroin arrests, overdoses and complaints throughout the County,” Wachter said.
The BCPD did not receive funding for the Safe Streets Initiative, a plan that connects serious drug offenders to drug treatment, health care, education and other services.
Wachter said that the department did not apply for this grant.