Baker-Polito Administration Awards $2.5 Million to Support Heroin and Opioid Crime Reduction Efforts
BOSTON – Today, Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, and Secretary of Public Safety and Security Dan Bennett announced the release of more than $2.5 million in federal grants to help District Attorneys, Sheriffs, and other criminal justice agencies strengthen and enhance their ongoing efforts to combat heroin and opioid abuse in Massachusetts.
“Law enforcement is on the front lines of the opioid crisis and it’s incumbent on us to provide them with every available resource to save lives,” said Governor Baker. “These grants provide yet another tool for us to begin bending the trend of overdoses and deaths as we combat this epidemic.”
This competitive grant opportunity allows eligible state and county criminal justice agencies to solicit grant funding for services aimed at prevention, intervention, diversion, enforcement, and treatment. All proposals were required to include a law enforcement nexus and place a primary focus on targeting heroin and opioid abuse.
“These grant awards are great news for families across the state that have been negatively affected by drug use in their communities,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “The Massachusetts State Police and the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office will now be able to purchase an additional 1,100 doses of Naloxone (Narcan), which will help to reduce the number of overdose deaths associated with prescription opioid and heroin abuse.”
“The law enforcement leaders receiving these grants were selected for the innovative approaches they recommend, for their compassion, and for their commitment to addressing the devastating effects of the addiction crisis that has ruined and taken so many lives,” said Secretary Bennett.
These awards will complement the Governor’s Opioid Task Force recommendations by expanding access to services for medicated-assisted treatment, development of a youth drug prevention curriculum, dissemination of educational materials as part of a public awareness campaign, treatment beds, and training for law enforcement personnel.
Last year, Governor Baker filed legislation to provide medical personnel with the power to intervene with patients suffering from addiction, control the spread of addictive prescription opioids, and increase education about substance use disorder for providers and in the community. Over one hundred additional treatment beds have been made available across the Commonwealth, with more expected thanks to funding from this grant program.
More information about the Governor’s Opioid Task Force is available at: www.mass.gov/statewithoutstigma.
The agencies receiving a grant award from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security under the “Heroin and Opioid Crime Reduction State Initiative” are as follows: