U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman, working with the U.S. Office of Community Oriented Police Services (COPS), announced today that additional federal funding would be awarded to four state and city law enforcement agencies in New Jersey. These agencies are specifically oriented towards investigating gang activity and heroin distributors through a network of collaborated law enforcement efforts across the state.
The federal funding in New Jersey is part of a larger grant being parceled out by COPS nationwide. $18 million will be distributed as a part of the COPS Anti-Gang Initiative (CAGI), the COPS Anti-Heroin Task Force Program, and the COPS Anti-methamphetamine Program. New Jersey programs alone will receive $2.1 million dollars to help combat drug problems in the state and deal with corruption that may potentially be contributing to the state’s drug issues.
Part of why New Jersey has received so much of the COPS funding, particularly CAGI fudning, is due to the presence of gangs based in New Jersey, but with a nationwide footprint. Gangs like the Latin Kings, the Crips, and a variety of chapters of the Bloods, all use the state of New Jersey as a platform for nationwide drug distribution. Its unique position near several major U.S. cities in different states makes it a natural place for drug cartels to gravitate to.
COPS will provide grant recipients with a variety of tools to help them appropriately allocate the funds. These include financial management tips and self-assessment tools that will help law enforcement officers evaluate whether or not they are properly allocating the budgets they currently have, in addition to the new funds provided by COPS.
Hopefully, COPS money in New Jersey and in all of the recipient law enforcement agencies will make a sizeable impact on the drug trade nationwide.