On Friday, March 14, 2014, local, state and federal officials from around the Roanoke Region held a press conference to discuss the recently approved membership into the Washington/Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program, and how this membership will benefit the community through shared law enforcement resources.
The HIDTA program, created by Congress with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, provides assistance to Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies operating in areas where drug-trafficking is problematic. The purpose of the program is to reduce drug trafficking and production in the United States by:
- Facilitating cooperation among Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to share information and implement coordinated enforcement activities;
- Enhancing law enforcement intelligence sharing among Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies;
- Providing reliable law enforcement intelligence to law enforcement agencies to facilitate the design of effective enforcement strategies and operations; and
- Supporting coordinated law enforcement strategies that make the most of available resources to reduce the supply of illegal drugs in designated areas of the United States and in the Nation as a whole.
In 2013, all of the jurisdictions within the territorial boundaries of Roanoke County were accepted into the HIDTA Program. Since that time, representatives of the Roanoke County Police Department, Roanoke City Police Department, Vinton Police Department, Salem Police Department, Virginia State Police, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, US Marshall's Service, Department of Homeland Security, US Postal Inspector, FBI, as well as the Commonwealth Attorneys from Roanoke, Roanoke County, and Salem and the US Attorney for the Western District of Virginia have worked together to formulate an agreement with HIDTA for them to provide financial and investigative support for drug enforcement in the Roanoke Valley.
In addition, we have agreed to combine the local/state law enforcement resources from each agency into the Roanoke Valley Regional Drug Unit, which will be responsible, in conjunction with our federal partners, for investigating drug trafficking organizations within the territorial borders of Roanoke County.