Tester Secures Nearly $1.4 Million for Drug Task Forces, Crime Prevention in Montana

Funding will support federal, state, local, Tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies as they combat drug trafficking

As part of his continued work to support law enforcement officers and keep Montana communities safe, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced he has secured $1,374,978 for High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Program taskforces in Montana, which works to support federal, state, local, Tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the United States. This funding will support drug taskforces in Cascade, Flathead, Gallatin, Lewis and Clark, Missoula, and Yellowstone counties.

As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tester secured these funds through the 2024 government funding bill. 

“HIDTA taskforces have a proven track record and play a critical role in holding criminals accountable and getting deadly drugs like fentanyl off our streets” said Tester. “Montana’s law enforcement put their lives on the line every day and I’m proud to have secured this funding. I’ll continue to do everything I can to make sure they have what they need to keep our communities safe.”

Tester has long been a strong champion of the HIDTA. His bipartisan ANTI Drugs Act would increase funding for law enforcement to combat drug trafficking, specifically by increasing resources for HIDTA, as well as Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and Operation Stonegarden, which Montana law enforcement rely on to keep communities safe. 

A tireless advocate for Montana’s police officers and first responders, Tester has also led the charge to secure funding and resources for the law enforcement officers and drug taskforces that keep Montana communities safe. In April, Tester’s FEND Off Fentanyl Act was signed into law. His bipartisan law imposes economic sanctions on those engaged in the international trafficking of illicit fentanyl, precursor chemicals used to make fentanyl, or other related opioids, gives law enforcement more resources to combat fentanyl trafficking, and declares international trafficking of fentanyl as a national emergency.

Tester’s bipartisan Recruit and Retain Act would boost hiring and retention efforts for Montana law enforcement in understaffed departments across the state by creating a schools-to-law enforcement recruitment program, expanding funding from COPS Hiring Grants, and improving law enforcement recruitment. And Tester’s bipartisan Invest to Protect Act would create a special COPS grant to support hiring and resources for local law enforcement agencies with under 200 officers. 

Tester also secured additional wins for Montana in a package of annual government funding appropriations bills that passed the U.S. Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support, including: $1.59 billion for grants that support local police and sheriffs’ departments and efforts to promote public safety; $189 million for the Comprehensive Opioid and Substance Use Disorder Program; $547 million for Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Forces to enhance multi-agency efforts to combat transnational organized crime and reduce the availability of illicit drugs; $2.567 billion for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); and $600 million for Bureau of Indian Affairs Tribal Law Enforcement and Justice services.

A full list of Montana provisions Tester secured in appropriations can be found HERE.