Alabama gets federal assistance to help take drug dealers, drugs off the streets

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In the state’s ongoing fight against the drug epidemic, Gov. Kay Ivey has put federal funds in the hands of law enforcement in hopes of reducing illegal drug use in the state by arresting those who buy or sell illegal drugs or falsely obtain prescription drugs.

On Thursday, the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) announces Ivey awarded nearly $1.6 million to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) and the seven regional drug task force offices under ALEA. The task forces were formed in January 2018 and are made up of officers in local law enforcement agencies.

“We must combat illegal and illegally obtained drugs that rob so many people of productive lives and destroy families,” Ivey said. “I am pleased to support this task force, and I am grateful to the men and woman who risk their lives to take drugs off our streets.”

In less than a year since its inception, the statewide drug task force has been involved in 889 drug cases and has seized 463 pounds of marijuana, 179 pounds of cocaine and 29.3 pounds of heroin and opioids along with other drugs and 312 firearms.

The task force is made up of 93 law enforcement officers representing 46 state, county and municipal law enforcement agencies.

ALEA and the seven regional drug task force offices each received $197,500 in grant funding. Each regional office covers eight to 12 counties, although officers have powers in other jurisdictions.  Funds will be used to cover overtime and operational expenses and equipment purchases.

 The ADECA is administering the grants from funds made available to the state from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

“ADECA is proud to be a partner with Gov. Ivey and ALEA in this process that takes drugs and dealers off out streets and makes our communities safer,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said.