Governor Hassan, State Public Safety Officials Announce State Grants to Support Local Law Enforcement in Combating Heroin and Opioid Crisis
CONCORD – As part of her comprehensive strategy to combat the heroin and opioid crisis and help save lives, Governor Maggie Hassan today joined state public safety officials to announce state grants to support local law enforcement across New Hampshire, funded by the bipartisan legislation expanding Operation Granite Hammer statewide that the Governor signed when it was sent to her in June.
“While we focus on strengthening prevention, treatment and recovery, we must also do everything that we can to support law enforcement and other first responders on the front lines combating the heroin and opioid epidemic in New Hampshire, including the increased prevalence of fentanyl in this crisis,” Governor Hassan said. “Building on our success with a pilot through Manchester’s Operation Granite Hammer, we are announcing today $1.5 million in grants to support local law enforcement in seizing illicit drugs and arresting dealers, as well to continue supporting the State Police Forensic Laboratory’s efforts to reduce case backlog and the New Hampshire State Police partnerships with communities statewide.
“I thank our dedicated law enforcement officers, first responders and public safety officials for their efforts day in and day out to combat this crisis,” Governor Hassan said. “I know that you will continue to help lead the way in this fight, and we will continue to look for additional creative ways we can make more resources available to support your efforts.”
Each local law enforcement agency that applied for a grant is receiving funding, which will be distributed to communities across the state. Local law enforcement agencies receiving funding include: the police departments in Manchester, Nashua, Concord, Portsmouth, Keene, Laconia, Franklin, Lebanon, Canaan and Berlin; and the Sheriff’s offices in Carroll, Cheshire, Hillsborough, Rockingham and Strafford counties – as well as one final pending application for Sullivan County. Additional funding through the initiative will be used to continue supporting the State Police Forensic Laboratory’s efforts to reduce case backlog and the New Hampshire State Police partnerships with communities statewide.
The New Hampshire Department of Safety worked in partnership with local law enforcement agencies to identify and develop law enforcement initiatives for the grant funding during the application process, including increasing and supporting mobile enforcement sweeps in targeted zones of known trafficking, covert buy/bust operations, targeted street enforcement, execution of opioid-specific search and arrest warrants, surveillance of targeted drug activity, incident locations and associated subjects, and intelligence and data reporting to the New Hampshire Information Analysis Center at the New Hampshire Department of Safety.
Last fall, Governor Hassan announced two state grants to support local law enforcement in seizing illicit drugs and arresting and prosecuting drug dealers, including the State’s partnership with the Manchester Police Department’s Operation Granite Hammer. In November, she proposed a comprehensive legislative strategy for combatting the opioid epidemic that included additional funding for law enforcement. In June, Governor Hassan signed House Bill 1000, a bipartisan measure expanding Operation Granite Hammer statewide to support state and local law enforcement in combating the heroin and opioid crisis. To support law enforcement in combating this epidemic, the Governor has also worked to increase the safe and effective use of Narcan, crack down on fentanyl and to train law enforcement officers to treat overdoses as criminal cases.
For the full amount of funds distributed to local law enforcement agencies in communities across the state, please see the table below:
The more than $230,000 in remaining funds from the $1.5 million appropriated in House Bill 1000 will go to the State Police Forensic Laboratory and the New Hampshire State Police.