Senator Boxer: Fighting against Drug Trafficking
Monday, November 30, 2009
I regularly meet with law enforcement officials in California, working closely with them on public safety issues. One of the common concerns I hear from these sheriffs, police chiefs, and district attorneys is the continual battle they wage against drug traffickers. And now, with local budgets being cut, their battle is even more difficult.
Because the transport of illegal drugs is not a local or even a regional problem, the federal government has established and funds the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program. This program leverages federal, state, local and tribal resources to reduce the transport of illegal drugs. In some cases, funds are even used across international borders, as is the case near San Diego where HIDTA funding has been used to facilitate arrests against the Arellano-Felix and Sinaloa drug cartels. The Central Valley HIDTA also works to reduce drug trafficking in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, and Tulare counties.
Like many programs, HIDTA has faced the possibility of reduced funding in the coming year. I recently joined Senator Dianne Feinstein and other Senators in writing to the Appropriations Committee requesting that the highest level of funding be provided to this program. In our letter, we point out that HIDTA is the best approach to integrating all levels of law enforcement in the effort to “fight against the narcotics trade and related border violence.”
HIDTA has a proven track record of reducing the narcotics trade, with most of the funding going to hire more officers. I fully support this program and will continue to work to see that it is funded at the highest possible level.
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer