CONCORD, NH – While it’s been said over and over that “we can’t arrest our way out of this opioid crisis,” the role of law enforcement continues to be top priority in the overall picture of finding solutions. On Wednesday, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced $12 million in federal grant funding, of which New Hampshire State Police will receive $688,856 to combat the state’s opioid epidemic.
Described by Sessions as funding for “new tools,” the $12 million in total grant funding is being disseminated to assist law enforcement in hardest hit regions. It is designated to battle everything from the illegal manufacturing and distribution of meth, heroin and prescription opioids, to the creation of new regional DEA field divisions in southern states.
In New Hampshire, the funding will bolster existing programs including Operation Granite Hammer and Operation Granite Shield, which target dealers and traffickers, according to a state police spokesman.
The grant also calls for each state to assign an “Opioid Coordinator” to work with federal, state and local law enforcement members to “optimize federal opioid prosecutions in every district.” The Attorney General’s directive to U.S. Attorneys can be viewed here.
Also announced on Nov. 29: President Trump has named White House counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway as point person for the administration’s opioid crisis efforts.
Her role will be to “change the perception” about opioids and reduce addictions and deaths, Sessions said during Wednesday’s press briefing about the Justice Department’s efforts to combat the crisis.
Conway’s resume does not reflect any experience in drug policy or law enforcement. Prior to her appointment as a White House advisor, Conway operated her own political opinion polling company, The Polling Company, for 25 years and made the rounds as a TV talk show partisan pundit. She was also a paid advisor for select candidates, including Mike Pence, Dan Quayle, Newt Gingrich, Fred Thompson and Ted Cruz, before joining forces with Donald Trump toward the end of his presidential campaign.
Other regional recipients of the Anti-Heroin Task Force Program grants include:
- Maine DEA: $525,569
- Vermont State Police: $1,326,496
The $12 million in grants are divided between AHTF and Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants.