Maryland is providing $3 million to police and sheriffs’ departments across the state to help them fight heroin problems.
Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced Monday that a little more than $2 million will be given to nine jurisdictions in mostly rural areas to help pay for the continuation of their Safe Street initiatives, which mix law enforcement, treatment and drug prevention. An additional $1 million or so will pay for the state police to hire heroin coordinators, who will collect and share data about drug seizures, arrests and investigations.
“From our smallest town to our biggest city, heroin is destroying lives,” Hogan said in a statement. “A coordinated law enforcement and treatment response is essential to our administration’s ability to help fight this epidemic and provide our citizens with the lifesaving support they need.”
The funding covers two recommendations made by the Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force, which was chaired by Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford (R).
The announcement comes on the heels of Hogan announcing last week that he would not spend $80 million that the state legislature had set aside for various programs it wanted funded. Among them: a violence-prevention program in Baltimore known as Safe Streets.
Last week, Baltimore city officials protested the announcement.
Doug Mayer, a spokesman for Hogan, said that the two programs are different and that Baltimore did not apply for a state grant.