Special to Iredell Free News
CHARLOTTE — The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) announced on Tuesday nearly $42 million in funding to support state-level law enforcement agencies in combating the illegal manufacturing and distribution of methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil, and prescription opioids.
The N.C. Department of Public Safety will receive $2,062,770.
“The scourge of opioid and methamphetamine use continues to take a devastating toll on our nation’s communities,” said COPS Office Director Phil Keith. “By providing these resources to law enforcement to help combat the further spread, the COPS Office is demonstrating our commitment to this administration’s priority of reducing drug use and protecting our citizens from this public health and safety crisis.”
“The funding announced today will bolster our continued efforts with our state law enforcement counterparts to investigate and disrupt drug trafficking rings that spread deadly substances like methamphetamine and heroin to communities across our state,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray.
“We are extremely grateful for this important funding which will enable us to enhance our law enforcement efforts at combating illegal drug trafficking and stemming the tide of dangerous drugs in our communities. These grant funds will further enable the State Bureau of Investigation to fulfill their public safety mission by leveraging important partnerships and maintaining their investigative expertise,” said Public Safety Secretary Erik A. Hooks.
Drug overdose deaths and opioid-involved deaths continue to increase in the United States. Deaths from drug overdose are up among both men and women, all races, and adults of nearly all ages, with more than three out of five drug overdose deaths involving opioids. More than 130 people die every day in the United States after overdosing on opioids, while methamphetamine continues to be one of the most commonly misused stimulant drugs in the world and is the drug that most contributes to violent crime.
The COPS Office is awarding more than $29.7 million in grant funding to 14 state law enforcement agency task forces through the Anti-Heroin Task Force Program (AHTF). AHTF provides three years of funding directly to state-level law enforcement agencies with multijurisdictional reach and interdisciplinary team (e.g., task force) structures, in states with high per capita rates of primary treatment admissions for heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil, and other opioids. This funding will support the location or investigation of illicit activities through statewide collaboration related to the distribution of heroin, fentanyl, or carfentanil or the unlawful distribution of prescription opioids.
Through the COPS Anti-Methamphetamine Program (CAMP), the COPS Office is also awarding $12 million to 12 state law enforcement agencies. These state agencies have demonstrated numerous seizures of precursor chemicals, finished methamphetamine, laboratories, and laboratory dump seizures. State agencies are being awarded three years of funding through CAMP to support the location or investigation of illicit activities related to the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine, including precursor diversion, laboratories, or methamphetamine trafficking.