The Board of Supervisors Tuesday authorized Sheriff Chad Bianco to accept a $1.44 million federal grant for drug interdiction operations to deter trafficking throughout Riverside County.
The Office of National Drug Control Policy funding, administered by the California Department of Justice, is intended to cover deputies’ overtime costs and other support directly tied to operations in designated “High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas,” according to the sheriff’s department.
The grant award is retroactive to Jan. 1, and the funds must be expended by Dec. 31, 2020.
“The primary mission … is to target … drug trafficking organizations by investigating, disrupting and arresting persons and organizations involved in illicit sales and trafficking of all hard narcotics — methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin — thereby improving the qualify of life for all citizens, both regionally and nationally,” according to an agency statement.
One of the means of nabbing drug suppliers is deployment of the Highway Interdiction Team, which is comprised of three narcotics-detecting canines and their handlers. The team focuses on known routes that suppliers utilize to transport contraband.
Deputies also take part in raids and related operations involving a variety of law enforcement task forces supported by the grant program, according to the sheriff’s department.
Officials said criminal intelligence analysts are essential, and the federal funds pay for their employment.
The sheriff’s Special Investigations Bureau oversees some of the interdiction efforts, which have been consistently funded by the Office of National Drug Control Policy for the last decade.
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