COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s plan of action to fight the opiate epidemic is multi-faceted, and includes creating more drug task forces, an idea that took inspiration by the two in Montgomery County.
The Montgomery County R.A.N.G.E Task Force was created in 2008 to respond to community complaints, sharing and analyzing data, and dealing with long-term busts along with local law enforcement agencies. In 2014, the Miami Valley Bulk Smuggling Task Force was created to strike quicker and make dealing in the area more painful cartels.
“The Bulk Task Force is much quicker and harder hitting,” Streck said. “The R.A.N.G.E. Task Force’s job is to put people in jail for a long time, Bulk is putting people in jail but it focuses on taking assets from drug cartels to get them to leave the area.”
DeWine’s spokesman Dan Tierney said both task forces were part of the inspiration for the proposed Narcotics Intelligence Center, announced by DeWine in his first State of the State address on Tuesday.
“It’s a good model used in Montgomery County and one we want to emulate state wide,” Tierney said.
The center would take these models and use the data and information they gather to share to all state law enforcement agencies.
“We want to make sure the technology and information is at high level and can be shared and coordinated, even through GPS if necessary.”
The center would also bring more focus on taking on the asset structure of cartels, much like the Miami Valley Bulk Task Force has done.
“What we can do as far as cartels is to make (Ohio) a place that isn’t good for business,” Tierney said. “We can provide data and information to empower local law enforcement to eradicate this activity. It’s difficult to eliminate the entire drug trade, but we can do more to interdict, like seizing bulk cash that’s going back to foreign locations.”
Key points of Gov. DeWine’s opioid plan
More Drug Courts
- Work to keep people who commit crime because of addition out of jail, and put in treatment
- Add staff to monitor these type of cases
- People who meet certain conditions can have opportunities to keep serving prison time
- Specialized court dockets
- Local law enforcement works with those getting out of jail to cut down recidivism over drug crime
Recovery Ohio Plan
- Prevention through K-12 education
- Treatment for Addiction
- Support for children in foster care due to parental addiction
- Holistic approach to recovery
- Narcotics Intelligence Center in Columbus
- More drug task forces across state, especially rural areas
- Data and information sharing across law enforcement
- Focus on bulk and asset interdiction – keep cash from getting back to foreign territory