WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Law enforcement officials from across the country responsible for getting illegal drugs off the streets were recognized by the Trump Administration today.
Directors from the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program met at the White House and were addressed by Vice President Mike Pence, who thanked the officers for their service.
“There is no program anywhere like it in America. You share information, best practices with one another. You stand shoulder to shoulder to arrest smugglers, shut down manufacturers, get the deadliest substances off our streets,” Pence said.
HIDTA includes over 21,000 officers and is active in all 50 states.
Pence said the program dismantled over 2,700 drug trafficking or money laundering organizations, got over 23,000 firearms off the streets and seized over $16 billion in the administration’s first year.
“We all know the statistics of the heartbreak of the loss of life and devastated families from drug abuse and addiction and the nefarious drug trade in this country. But you’re also responsible every day for the stories that never happened. The drugs that never got to the streets. The families that were never shattered,” he said of the program's officers.
Nevada HIDTA director Keith Carter was in attendance at the White House and said he found the vice president’s speech inspiring.
“He showed and told a lot of support from the Trump Administration, which I think is very important to law enforcement to have support for what it is that they do, and he definitely explained that today in many different ways,” said Carter.
Carter said methamphetamine and opioids such as fentanyl are the biggest threats in his region.
HIDTA was created by Congress with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 and gives assistance to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to reduce and breakup drug trafficking in the United States, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.