Fraternal Order of Police Announces Support for Tester’s Bipartisan Bill to Combat Drug Trafficking
Nation’s largest police union issues letter of support backing Senator’s ANTI Drugs Act to support law enforcement efforts to combat the drug epidemic and boost border security
The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the country’s largest police union, announced their support for U.S. Senator Jon Tester’s bipartisan Assisting Narcotics and Trafficking Officers in Interdicting (ANTI) Drugs Act – legislation that will support law enforcement efforts to combat the drug epidemic and boost border security.
Tester’s bipartisan legislation, introduced alongside Senator John Hoeven (R-N.D.), would increase resources for three programs – High Intensity Drug Task Forces (HIDTA), Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), and Operation Stonegarden – that law enforcement rely on to keep communities safe. The bill also includes new language to cut red tape and ensure that smaller law enforcement agencies and those in rural communities have access to COPS grants.
“Drug trafficking, human smuggling, and illegal crossings have continued to be a problem at our southern border. Federal law enforcement, in conjunction with a host of State and local partners, work tirelessly to secure and protect our border. However, these enforcement activities are expensive, and have put a strain on the limited budgets and resources of local law enforcement agencies,” wrote Patrick Yoes, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police. “On behalf of the more than 367,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I am proud to offer our strong support for this legislation.”
“When I meet with our brave men and women in law enforcement across Montana, they consistently tell me they need more resources to combat the drug epidemic and keep our communities safe,” said Tester. “I’m proud to have the support of the FOP behind my bipartisan bill to ensure law enforcement officers, including those in smaller departments and rural communities, have the resources they need to get their challenging jobs done safely and effectively.”
The ANTI Drugs Act is also supported by the Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, Western States Sheriffs’ Association, and National Narcotic Officers Associations’ Coalition.
The ANTI Drugs Act would provide enhanced support for three critical law enforcement programs:
High Intensity Drug Task Forces (HIDTA) – $400 million
- HIDTA grants fund regional task forces made up of members from local, state, Tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies that combat the drug epidemic in hard-hit communities. Montana is home to five regional HIDTA task forces that combat the drug epidemic in hard-hit communities— currently operating in Cascade, Flathead, Lewis and Clark, Missoula and Yellowstone Counties. North Dakota is part of the Midwest HIDTA, with the following counties designated as HIDTA counties—Burleigh, Cass, Grand Forks, Morton, Richland, Walsh, Ward, and Williams.
Operation Stonegarden – $110 million
- Operation Stonegarden provides funding to state, local, and Tribal law enforcement agencies to enhance coordination with Customs and Border Protection and Border Patrol to defend America’s borders.
Community Oriented Policing (COPS) – $665 million
- The COPS program awards grants to state, local, and Tribal law enforcement agencies in an effort to reduce crime and advance public safety through community policing. The program also supports state law enforcement agencies in combatting the manufacturing and trafficking of meth and opioids.
- The bill also includes new language requiring the Department of Justice to increase efforts to:
- Improve and streamline the COPS grant solicitation process to make it easier for law enforcement agencies in rural areas and with fewer than 200 officers to apply for funding;
- Address barriers that prevent eligible law enforcement agencies in rural and underserved areas from utilizing the COPS Hiring Program to increase staffing; and
- Conduct additional outreach and provide additional technical assistance to law enforcement agencies in rural and underserved areas.
You can read the FOP’s full letter of support for Tester’s bipartisan legislation HERE.
Text of Tester and Hoeven’s ANTI Drugs Act is available HERE.