WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-MD) have announced $288,445 in federal funding to help state and local authorities fight the ongoing heroin and opioid epidemic. The funds – issued by U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office – will go to the Maryland State Police to support their efforts investigating unlawful activities related to the distribution of prescription opioids and heroin.
“The prescription opioid and heroin epidemic is a public health crisis that hurts every state in our country, and every part of Maryland. Some rural parts of our state have the highest per capita rates of heroin and opioid drug use in the United States,” said Senator Cardin. “Facing this challenge head-on means supporting our state’s law enforcement with every tool and every resource they need. This federal investment in the Maryland State Police represents a commitment to that, and I’ll keep fighting to ensure the federal government remains an active partner in Maryland’s fight to combat opioid abuse.”
“Too many families in Maryland have experienced the pain and loss of the opioid epidemic. This funding will strengthen critical efforts in Maryland to prevent drug trafficking and will give the Maryland State Police more resources to stop the influx of these drugs at the source,” said Senator Van Hollen. “We must continue working together at all levels to end drug trafficking and improve mental health and substance abuse treatment services – attacking this issue on all fronts.”
The funds come from the Anti-Heroin Task Force Program (AHTFP), a competitive grant program that assists state law enforcement agencies in states with high per capita levels of primary treatment admissions for heroin and other opioids. AHTFP grants are managed and dispersed through COPS, the component of the U.S. Department of Justice responsible for advancing the practice of community policing through information sharing and financial assistance. Since 1994, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to help advance community policing.