Washington, D.C.—Today, Congresswoman Deborah Ross (NC-02) released the following statement after the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) announced a $1.9 million-dollar grant to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety to combat the opioid epidemic:

“Nearly every person in North Carolina has been touched in some way by opioid addiction,” said Congresswoman Ross. “This epidemic is devastating communities throughout the state, straining prevention and treatment efforts, and overwhelming medical providers. That is why I am pleased the Department of Justice awarded this much-needed funding to bolster North Carolina law enforcement’s ability to identify and destroy criminal opioid distribution networks. I will continue to work with local, state, and federal partners to end the flow of dangerous drugs into our communities.

Through the Anti-Heroin Task Force Program (AHTF), the COPS Office is awarding more than $31.1 million in grant funding to 13 state law enforcement agencies with multijurisdictional reach and interdisciplinary team (e.g., task force) structures.  AHTF provides funding directly to state law enforcement agencies in states with high per capita rates of primary treatment admissions for heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil, and other opioids.  This funding will support the location or investigation of illicit activities through statewide collaboration related to the distribution of heroin, fentanyl, or carfentanil or the unlawful distribution of prescription opioids.