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Gov. Kay Ivey awards $1.6M in public safety grants toward combating illegal drugs, crime

Gov. Kay Ivey on Wednesday announced that she had awarded $1.6 million in public safety grants aimed at fighting illegal drugs and drug-related crime across the state.

The governor awarded $202,557 each to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) and the state’s seven regional drug task forces. According to a release, the funds will be utilized to combat drug sellers, manufacturers and users. The governor’s office advised that the drug task forces remain committed to reducing the distribution and use of illegally obtained pharmaceutical drugs.

In announcing the grant awards, Ivey reaffirmed her administration’s support of law enforcement in their efforts to combat crime stemming from illegal drugs.

“Public safety is at the forefront of our mission, and I am proud to aid our law enforcement in the battle against illegal drugs and crime,” proclaimed Ivey. “As I said last night during my state of the state address, we will continue working to make Alabama a great state to live, work and raise a family for years to come. No doubt, that includes keeping our communities safe and free of crime. I commend the important work being done by ALEA and these task forces.”

ALEA oversees operations of the state’s drug task forces which are comprised of members from the law enforcement community within their respected regions. Each region holds in the range of eight to 12 counties. Task force members hold law enforcement powers in each jurisdiction.

According to the governor’s office, Alabama task force agents made nearly 800 arrests in 2021. They also seized 2.3 million grams of marijuana, over 508,483 grams of methamphetamine and 66,664 grams of cocaine. Numerous firearms and drug-related currency were removed from the streets as a result of the investigations.

The release noted that overtime and operational and equipment expenses will be covered by the award funding. The grants, administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA), were made available by funding from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

ADECA director Kenneth Boswell praised Ivey for the grant allocation toward supporting law enforcement.

“ADECA is pleased to play a role in this program that helps take drugs off the streets and make our communities safer,” stated Boswell. “We join Gov. Ivey in commending the work of these task forces.”

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL