Justice Department awards millions to fight opioid crisis in western Oklahoma

December 14, 2019 | Headlines|Police

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs (“OJP”) is reporting that more than $4.5 million will go to state-wide and western Oklahoma governmental bodies to address public safety issues relating to opioids.  

The Department is awarding more than $333 million across the country to help communities affected by the opioid crisis.  Katharine T. Sullivan, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for OJP, made the announcement during a visit with local, state, and federal officials in West Virginia, one of the states hardest hit by the epidemic.

“The opioid crisis has destroyed far too many lives and left too many Americans feeling helpless and hopeless,” said PDAAG Sullivan.  “This epidemic—the most deadly in our nation’s history—is introducing new dangers and loading public health responsibilities onto the public safety duties of our law enforcement officers.  The Department of Justice is here to support them during this unprecedented and extremely challenging time.”

With more than 130 people dying from opioid-related overdoses every day, the Department of Justice has made fighting addiction to opioids—including heroin and fentanyl—a national priority.  The Trump Administration is providing critical funding for a wide range of activities—from preventive services and comprehensive treatment to recovery assistance, forensic science services, and research—to help save lives and break the cycle of addiction and crime.

The awards support an array of activities designed to reduce the harm inflicted by these dangerous drugs.  Grants will help law enforcement officers, emergency responders and treatment professionals coordinate their response to overdoses.  Funds will also provide services for children and youth affected by the crisis and will support the nationwide network of drug and treatment courts.  Other awards will address prescription drug abuse, expand the capacity of forensic labs, and support opioid-related research.

“I am pleased that the Department can provide critically needed financial support for Oklahoma’s continuing fight against opioids,” said Timothy J. Downing, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.  

“To win this battle, we will need all our tools and partners, including law enforcement and social services supporting prevention and treatment.  These funds will go a long way to move Oklahoma along the road of reducing the suffering illegal opioids have caused.”

The following awards were made to state agencies and other entities in the Western District of Oklahoma:

  • $2,000,000 to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs as part of the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-Based Program, funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (“BJA”)
  • $249,543 to the Oklahoma City-County Health Department as part of BJA’s Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program
  • $749,985 to the Comanche Nation under a program funded by OJP entitled Enhancing Community Responses to the Opioid Crisis: Serving Our Youngest Crime Victims
  • $882,900 to the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services under BJA’s Adult Drug Court and Veterans Treatment Court Discretionary Grant Program
  • $646,951 to the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services as part of the Family Drug Court Program, funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
  • $250,000 to the Oklahoma District Attorneys’ Council as part of the Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grant Program, funded by the Office of Justice Programs