COLUMBUS – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has announced the Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) is now accepting applications for funding to be awarded as part of the Ohio Drug Law Enforcement Fund. Grants will cover drug task force expenses related to enforcing the state’s drug laws and combating illegal drug activity.
“The work of Ohio’s drug task forces to stop drug trafficking is an ongoing mission,” said DeWine. “These grants offset the costs of overtime hours, surveillance, and undercover operations incurred by task forces to investigate the drug trade.”
The Ohio Drug Law Enforcement Fund is part of the Drug Interdiction, Disruption, and Reduction Plan that is funded through Ohio’s operating budget.
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.
Applications are due Jan. 5, 2023 at 5 p.m. Projects may apply for up to 12 months operating from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024.
For technical assistance on any part of the application, call OCJS at 614-466-7782 and ask to speak to the grants coordinator. For more information about grants, visit http://www.ocjs.ohio.gov/grants.stm.
Since taking office in 2019, DeWine has developed several initiatives to address the issues of drug trafficking and substance use disorder in Ohio. 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 in 2019 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. The Ohio Crime Lab Efficiency Program that Governor DeWine launched last year supports local crime laboratories to help them efficiently analyze drugs associated with criminal investigations.