MIL-OSI USA: Finstad and Caraveo Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Support Law Enforcement, Crack Down on Illicit Drug Trafficking

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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Brad Finstad (MN-01)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Brad Finstad (MN-01) and Congresswoman Yadira Caraveo (CO-08) introduced the Assisting Narcotics and Trafficking officers in Interdicting (ANTI) Drugs Act, to enhance support for local law enforcement drug prevention efforts and secure our nation’s border by authorizing three critical programs – Operation Stonegarden, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA), and Community Oriented Policing (COPS).

“Our nation is facing an unprecedented drug epidemic. Dangerous fentanyl is flooding into communities across the country from our southern border. Our law enforcement officers are on the front lines of fighting this crisis and need more tools and resources at their disposal to keep our communities safe,” said Rep. Finstad. “In Congress, I am proud to be an avid supporter of law enforcement and will always fight to give them the resources they need. That’s why I am proud to partner with Rep. Caraveo to introduce the ANTI-Drugs Act, to put more tools on our local law enforcement’s belt, crack down on dangerous drugs like fentanyl, secure our borders, and increase public safety for southern Minnesotans.”

“As a physician, I’m always looking for ways to improve the health and safety of our Front Range and Northern Colorado communities. Reducing the flow of illegal drugs such as fentanyl is paramount to keeping our communities safe, but law enforcement needs additional resources to accomplish that goal,” said Rep. Caraveo. “By cutting red tape and surging resources to local law enforcement at the Southern border and here in Colorado, we can stem the tide of these dangerous drugs and begin to reduce the devastating impacts of the overdose epidemic. I’m proud to introduce the ANTI-Drugs Act with Rep. Finstad and remain committed to supporting law enforcement in their efforts to reduce the flow of illegal drugs into the United States.”

The ANTI-Drugs Act is endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Sheriffs’ Association, the Western States Sheriffs’ Association, and the National Narcotic Officers Associations’ Coalition.

“The HIDTA taskforces, Operation Stonegarden, and COPS play a critical role in supporting law enforcement officers in their fight against drug trafficking and efforts to keep our communities safe,” said Patrick Yoes, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police. “We must support our brave Federal, State, local, and Tribal law enforcement officers across the country and give them the tools and resources they need to do their job. We look forward to continuing to work with Representatives Caraveo and Finstad to increase funding for these important law enforcement programs.”

“America’s narcotic officers put their lives on the line every day to stand between predatory cartels and their victims,” said Eric Brown, President of the National Narcotic Officers Associations’ Coalition. “The NNOAC thanks Representative Caraveo and Representative Finstad for recognizing the critical importance of providing law enforcement agencies with more resources to combat the deadly surge of illegal narcotics.”

Specifically, the ANTI-Drugs Act:

  • Provides formal authorization for Operation Stonegarden, which increases border security by enhancing coordination between state, local, Tribal enforcement, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection;
  • Reauthorizes the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Program, providing grant funding to local task forces that combat drug trafficking in the hardest-hit communities;
  • Reauthorizes the Community Oriented Policing (COPS) Program and enhances the program for rural jurisdictions, reducing crime and increasing public safety through community policing.

Additionally, the ANTI-Drugs Act requires the Department of Justice to increase efforts to improve and streamline the COPS grant solicitation process to make it easier for law enforcement agencies in rural areas and those with fewer than 200 officers to apply for funding by;

  • Addressing barriers that prevent eligible law enforcement agencies in rural and underserved areas from utilizing the COPS Hiring Program to increase staffing; and
  • Conducting additional outreach and provide additional technical assistance to law enforcement agencies in rural and underserved areas.
Senators John Hoven (R-ND) and Jon Tester (D-MT) have introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate.

Full text of the ANTI-Drugs Act can be found here.