Asa Hutchinson, Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration announced today a coordinated anti-drug plan that combines law enforcement with intensive community follow-up designed to reduce drug demand. The program, entitled IDEA for Integrated Drug Enforcement Assistance, will team the DEA with state and local law enforcement to arrest and prosecute the most significant drug traffickers within designated communities, and will then form coalitions to reduce demand through drug prevention and treatment.
Administrator Hutchinson stated, This new initiative is consistent with President Bushs message last Friday in which he emphasized that both education and drug enforcement are essential to solving Americas drug problem. President Bush stated, America cannot pick and choose between these goals. All are necessary if any are to be effective.
Administrator Hutchinson continued, Under this new initiative, the DEA will combine a law enforcement effort with a partnership alongside community coalitions for a long-lasting impact to reduce demand through drug prevention and treatment programs.
The program will consist of Community Action Teams encompassing DEA enforcement personnel with an on-site Demand Reduction Coordinator and a DEA Intelligence Analyst. This program aims to double the number of Demand Reduction personnel within DEA and ultimately place a Demand Reduction Coordinator in every state.
A community commitment is the focus of IDEA. Follow-up to enforcement efforts will involve community-based organizations, businesses, faith-based organizations, parks and recreation departments, schools, drug courts, and restorative justice. The program will also include an advisory council comprised of officials from law enforcement, the judiciary, substance abuse, and crime prevention. These experts will consult with DEA on the program design, its implementation, and the final evaluation.
In addition to the contributions of professional personnel to IDEA, the program will incorporate volunteers consisting of current and former law enforcement employees, concerned citizens, and youth group volunteers. This will be augmented with demand reduction training in areas of community mobilization, coalition building, prevention and treatment. Administrator Hutchinson will encourage DOJ asset forfeiture recipients to increase contributions to community demand reduction efforts.
In summary, Administrator Hutchinson stated, The answer to Americas drug problem must come from the community. This is good, grass roots democracy at its old-fashioned best. DEA is proud to partner with neighborhoods across the nation to make a safer America. Together, thats how well win against drugsone community, one neighborhood, one life at a time becoming drug-free.
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