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Md. awards more heroin prevention grants

Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford today announced that the state has taken additional steps in its fight against the heroin and opioid epidemic by providing $608,832 in grant funding to projects designed to identify and apprehend drug dealers, especially those involved in gangs; help Maryland families battling substance abuse; and provide medically assisted treatment programs and other re-entry programs to inmates at local detention centers.

Last February, to address Maryland’s growing heroin and opioid crisis, Gov. Larry Hogan formally created the Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force, group made up of law enforcement professionals, elected officials, and substance abuse experts, and appointed Lt. Governor Rutherford as its chair. The funds announced today will be administered by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention and support the broad mission and efforts of the Task Force.

“I am pleased to report that our administration is making real progress in strengthening programs that provide needed services to Marylanders struggling with substance abuse,” Rutherford said. “The governor and I pledged that addressing the heroin and opioid crisis would be a major priority, and we will continue to advocate for treatment and prevention programs, as well as the most effective law enforcement response to this epidemic.”

“The programs we are funding illustrate the scale of Maryland’s commitment to ending the heroin and opioid epidemic,” said Christopher Shank, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention. “No community is immune from it. That’s why we are providing these grants to regions in every part of Maryland.”

This round of grant funding is from the federal Byrne Justice Assistance Grants (BJAG) program, which supports a broad range of state and local criminal justice initiatives critical to Maryland’s goal of safe communities. Earlier this summer, under the direction of Governor Hogan and Lt. Governor Rutherford, GOCCP awarded $281,011 in funding to the Ocean City Police Department, Dorchester County, and the Maryland State Police for criminal investigations into how heroin is brought over state lines, and to provide MAT re-entry programs for county detention center inmates.