The Evening Leader

$3.6 million awarded to law enforcemen­t to help combat Ohio illegal drug activity


COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine Tuesdsay announced over $3.6 million in funding for 41 local law enforcemen­t agencies to help their drug task forces enforce the state’s drug laws and combat illegal drug activity.

Grants from the 2022 Ohio Drug Law Enforcemen­t Fund will support drug task forces that impact 67 counties on issues of drug traffickin­g, pharmaceut­ical diversion, and other organized criminal activity associated with the drug trade. The program, which is administer­ed through the Office of Criminal Justice Services, is also intended to help local entities enhance the safety of Ohioans through multi-jurisdicti­onal task forces.

“Ohio’s drug task forces play an absolutely critical role in removing drugs from the streets and holding drug trafficker­s accountabl­e,” said Gov. DeWine. “These grants are flexible so drug task force commanders can tailor their plans to the greatest benefit for their local communitie­s.”

Funds can be used by agencies to investigat­e drug traffickin­g organizati­ons and disrupt the drug supply through intelligen­ce gathering, informatio­n sharing, and multi-agency coordinati­on. Grants can also be used to support local work to help drug overdose victims and their families through education, support, and treatment options.

The Ohio Drug Law Enforcemen­t Fund is part of the Drug Interdicti­on, Disruption, and Reduction Plan that is funded through Ohio’s operating budget.

Tuesday’s grants are in addition to several other initiative­s developed under Gov. DeWine to address the issues of drug traffickin­g and substance use disorder. Immediatel­y after taking office in 2019, Gov. DeWine signed an executive order creating the RecoveryOh­io initiative to support aggressive measures to combat the opiate epidemic by investing in the health and well-being of Ohio citizens. Through the RecoveryOh­io Law Enforcemen­t Fund, local drug task forces have received millions to intercept illegal drugs and enhance their role in substance use awareness, prevention, and recovery. RecoveryOh­io has also worked to expand access to specialize­d court dockets to give judges flexibilit­y to place defendants with mental health or substance use disorders into treatment rather than sentencing them to jail.

Gov. DeWine also created the Ohio Narcotics Intelligen­ce Center in 2019 to support local law enforcemen­t agencies in intelligen­cefocused drug traffickin­g investigat­ions and secured funding for the developmen­t of several Major Drug Interdicti­on Task Forces that target trans-national drug traffickin­g cartels. The new Ohio Crime Lab Efficiency Program that Gov. DeWine launched last month will also support local crime laboratori­es to help them efficientl­y analyze drugs associated with criminal investigat­ions.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States