New York County Wants To Be Called ‘High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area’
A county in the Hudson Valley is renewing calls to be labeled a High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.
On Wednesday, Sullivan County Sheriff Mike Schiff once again renewed his call for Sullivan County to be designated as a High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA).
Sullivan County Wants To Be Labeled High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area
“Sullivan County is the only county in the Hudson Valley that is not a part of the HIDTA program”, Schiff stated. “Yet we continue to have the highest opioid overdose rate per capita in the entire state. It's time for the federal government to step up and make the resources of the HIDTA program available to the law enforcement community in Sullivan County."
Request Denied In 2021
Sullivan County submitted an application to the United States Office of National Drug Control Policy requesting the designation in March. It was Sullivan County’s second request, the first was denied in 2021.
"HIDTAs across the country provide federal assets and specific strategies to hold drug traffickers accountable, seize illicit drugs like fentanyl, prevent gun violence and other crime associated with drug trafficking as well as improve interdiction efforts through enhanced data sharing, and dismantle illicit finance operations," the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office states.
Could Be A Game Changer For Upstate New York
Schiff's renewed call comes after police raided a "suspected drug den in Monticello," last week.
Schiff believes becoming a High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area would be a "game changer."
Sheriff Mike Schiff said while his agency’s Gang and Narcotics Intelligence Unit continues to work with federal, state and local law enforcement partners, HIDTA can be the game changer they need.
“The sophistication and amount of resources HIDTA can bring to bear in an area like Sullivan County can make the difference”, he said. "The Sullivan County Drug Task Force has enlisted the help of several politicians with the latest application, including U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer.
A decision from the United States Office of National Drug Control Policy is expected soon.