Federal anti-drug program to help Logan, Simpson counties
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Friday that Logan, Simpson, and Clark counties have been chosen for inclusion in the Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program.
The HIDTA program, operated under the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), provides federal support to law enforcement agencies in designated counties with coordination, equipment, technology and additional resources to combat drug production and trafficking.
These Kentucky counties are among only 15 counties nationwide to receive new HIDTA designations this year.
In a statement, Sen. McConnell said, “As long as Kentucky families continue to be plagued by addiction and substance abuse, I’ll keep working to deliver the federal resources and support to keep our communities safe."
McConnell highlighted to the program's operators the need for Logan and Simpson to be included because of the counties' close proximity to metropolitan areas and interstates that bring increased drug trafficking.
In 2018, Kentucky saw a nearly 15 percent decline in the number of fatal overdoes from the prior year—the largest drop in more than a decade. This decrease was due in large part to the hard work of law enforcement officers in disrupting the supply of illegal drugs flowing into Kentucky communities.
“Kentucky’s law enforcement proudly stands on the frontline against the scourge of illegal drugs in our communities. As we do, I’m grateful to know Senator McConnell has our backs,” said Kentucky Narcotic Officers’ Association Executive Director and Bowling Green-Warren County Drug Task Force Director Tommy Loving.
“We were hopeful to have one or two of these counties be selected to join the HIDTA program, but Senator McConnell used his leadership role in Washington to get all three for us," said Loving. "The new federal assistance will help our communities sleep more soundly knowing the maximum resources are available to combat illegal drugs in the Commonwealth.”
“Senator McConnell has been a champion of bringing additional law enforcement resources and federal coordination to Kentucky,” said South Central Kentucky Drug Task Force Director Jacky Hunt in a statement. “His leadership has been instrumental to keeping Kentucky safe, and we can’t thank him enough for his support."
“We are grateful to Senator McConnell for his advocacy on behalf of our officers and our community,” Russellville Police Department Chief Todd Raymer said in a statement. “The HIDTA designation will be a major factor as we keep drugs off our streets.”
In December 2019, McConnell secured provisions that were signed into law to help Kentucky fight the opioid and substance abuse epidemic which included $285 million for HIDTA to combat meth and opioid abuse.