DeWine announces $3 million to help law enforcement combat illegal drug activity

COLUMBU —Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has announced $3 million in funding for 44 local law enforcement agencies to help their drug task forces enforce the state’s drug laws and combat illegal drug activity.

Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office will receive $76,385.09 from the funding allocation, while the Shelby County Sheiff’s Office will receive $6,186.50. The Logan County Sheriff’s Office will receive $6,095.80.

Grants from the 2023 Ohio Drug Law Enforcement Fund will support drug task forces that impact 42 counties on issues of drug trafficking, pharmaceutical diversion, and other organized criminal activity associated with the drug trade. The program, which is administered through the Office of Criminal Justice Services, is also intended to help local agencies enhance the safety of Ohioans through multi-jurisdictional task forces.

“No one knows better than local law enforcement the effects that drugs have on their own communities,” said Governor DeWine. “This funding will support our local authorities as they work to take drugs off the streets.”

Funds can be used by agencies to investigate drug trafficking organizations and disrupt the drug supply through intelligence gathering, information sharing, and multi-agency coordination. Grants can also be used to support local work to help drug overdose victims and their families through education, support, and treatment options.

The Ohio Drug Law Enforcement Fund is part of the Drug Interdiction, Disruption, and Reduction Plan that is funded through Ohio’s operating budget.

The grants are in addition to several other initiatives developed under DeWine to address the issues of drug trafficking and substance use disorder. Immediately after taking office in 2019, Governor DeWine signed an executive order creating the RecoveryOhio initiative to support aggressive measures to combat the opiate epidemic by investing in the health and well-being of Ohio citizens. Through the RecoveryOhio Law Enforcement Fund, local drug task forces have received millions to intercept illegal drugs and enhance their role in substance use awareness, prevention, and recovery. RecoveryOhio has also worked to expand access to specialized court dockets to give judges flexibility to place defendants with mental health or substance use disorders into treatment rather than sentencing them to jail.

DeWine also created the Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center to support local law enforcement agencies in intelligence-focused drug trafficking investigations and secured funding for the development of several Major Drug Interdiction Task Forces that target trans-national drug trafficking cartels.