By FRANK LEWIS
PDT Staff Writer
This past year, after a visit to Portsmouth by Obama administration drug czar Gil Kerlokowske, word came down from Washington that Scioto County had received HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas) status, meaning area law enforcement could qualify for federal money to help fight the region’s drug problems.
“To get HIDTA funding you have to have drug interdiction training or you’re not eligible for their federal funding,” Ohio State Highway Patrol Portsmouth Post Commander Karla Taulbee said. “I got a hold of (New Boston Police Captain) Steve (Goins), and asked if New Boston needed training, so that when we do these MAPS (Multi-Agency Police Saturation), then New Boston would be involved with us, then the federal government can help with some of the funding of their officers for the drug interdiction problem. Crime is everywhere, but New Boston really kicks butt. So, this is just to train them all in drug interdiction.”
Drug interdiction sessions were held Tuesday and continue today at the New Boston Community Building, with New Boston officers as well as officers from other law enforcement agencies being brought up to date on the latest way of investigating drug stops.
“This is about criminal indicators,” Goins said, during a break in training. “It helps law enforcement officers to look for certain things when we’re out on patrol, particularly in the transporting of drugs. I think the whole purpose is, if we can stop the drug trafficker, or the drug transporter out on the highway with the drugs, take the drugs from them and put them in jail, that way the drugs are not getting out into our communities. We’re doing it on the highways first, and the Highway Patrol are the experts in it. We all can take a page from the Highway Patrol’s drug interdiction program and stop them on the highways, take the drugs from them, and the drugs don’t get into our communities.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at email@example.com.