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Major White House Decision to Include Jefferson County in HIDTA Program Announced by Yarmuth

(Washington, DC) Today, Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) announced that Louisville law enforcement agencies will have access to new funding and resources in the fight against drug trafficking, as his request to include Jefferson County in the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program was approved by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).  The HIDTA designation will direct funding, resources, and enhanced coordination initiatives to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department (JCSD), the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) and other agencies to combat drug traffic in the area.

“This designation will provide a major boost to our local law enforcement efforts to help keep Louisville safe, secure, and drug-free,” Congressman Yarmuth said.  “This program creates a true alliance between local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, and will make it easier for them to work together to combat drug trafficking and protect Louisville families.”

Congressman Yarmuth worked with local law enforcement agencies to urge ONDCP to include Jefferson County in the program.  On July 29, 2008, the Congressman wrote to ONDCP requesting the designation.  Since that time, he has been working closely with the White House to have his request approved.   A copy of the Congressman’s letter to ONDCP is attached. 

The HIDTA program will incorporate area law enforcement agencies into a partnership with state and federal law enforcement, facilitating coordination and cooperation on strategies to eliminate and reduce drug threats.  Jefferson County will become a member of the Appalachian HIDTA. That twenty-eight county area in Appalachia/Central Kentucky initially received the HIDTA designation in 1998, which helped to significantly reduce drug trafficking in the area.

Each HIDTA is governed by its own Executive Board comprised of approximately 16 members—eight federal members and eight state or local members. These Boards ensure threat specific strategies and initiatives are developed, employed, supported and evaluated.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Marijuana, methamphetamine, diverted pharmaceutical drugs, and cocaine are the primary drug threats in Kentucky. Clandestine laboratory manufacturing activity in Metro Louisville has increased and the methamphetamine trafficking in Kentucky remains prominent because of the increased distribution of "Ice" methamphetamine.

Congressman Yarmuth will join members of the law enforcement community at a press conference on Monday in Louisville to discuss the details of the designation and its impact on Louisville.  Details on that event will be announced shortly.