Senators announce nearly $3M to combat opioid crisis in New Jersey

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U.S. senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-NJ) have announced that the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety has been awarded nearly $3 million in federal funding to bolster law enforcement efforts in cracking down on the illegal distribution of heroin and other opioids across the state, according to a press release.

“We know all too well how the opioid epidemic can destroy lives and families from all walks of life, and how it’s impacting our friends, neighbors and loved ones,” Menendez said.  “We also know that tackling this crisis requires a coordinated approach that includes resources for treatment, education, awareness and services for children, as well as for law enforcement to target the flow of illegal drugs like heroin and other opioids at the local level.

“That is why I am very happy this federal investment will bolster New Jersey’s comprehensive strategy and the efforts of so many men and women working on the front lines,” he said.

“Our nation’s opioid epidemic has taken a devastating toll on families and communities across New Jersey,” Booker said. “The key to finding long-term solutions to this crisis is supporting partnerships between public health and public safety agencies.

“New Jersey’s local law enforcement is already working tirelessly to keep heroin and other opioids out of our communities, but this federal investment will further support their efforts and together, we can tackle this crisis head on,” the senator said.

“The opioid epidemic has tragically taken the lives of thousands of New Jerseyans and continues to devastate communities all across our state,” Gov. Phil Murphy said. “We need a comprehensive set of strategies to address the needs of those suffering from opioid and substance use disorder and strengthening our capacity and ability to curb the illicit supply of harmful substances is a key component.

“I thank senators Menendez and Booker for their hard work to secure this funding to provide our women and men in uniform with the training they need to ensure that bad actor dealers and distributors are held accountable for their actions,” Murphy said.

Specifically, the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety was awarded $2.89 million from the COPS Office’s Anti-Heroin Task Force (AHTF) program at the Department of Justice, according to the press release.

AHTF provides two years of funding directly to law enforcement agencies in states with high per capita levels of primary treatment admissions for heroin and other opioids. This funding will support the location or investigation of illicit activities related to the distribution of heroin or the unlawful distribution of prescription opioids, according to the press release.