Law Enforcement

A coordinated enforcement response to substance abuse issues is not possible under existing realities:

  • There are over 400 law enforcement agencies in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
    • There are nearly 8,000 peace officers statewide.
    • Most of these agencies are municipal or sheriffs' offices.
    • Most of these agencies have less than ten sworn officers.
    • As such, there is no way to realistically focus on drug crimes for targeted enforcement.
  • The Kentucky State Police, Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement, Alcohol Beverage Control, and other state agencies are understaffed due to attrition and/or funding. Specialized units exist within the state police to focus on drug-related crimes, but staffing levels preclude concentrated efforts.
  • Regional drug task forces have emerged over the past 17 years as an answer for growing drug problems in local communities.
    • Drug task forces that receive Byrne Grant funding emerge from inter-local agreements between municipalities and counties. There are varying degrees of cooperation or assistance sought from the State Police amongst the regional task forces.
    • Task forces are eligible for receipt of assets forfeited under state law or federal law.
  • Federal law enforcement is represented in the form of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Marshal’s Service, and other agencies.
  • Additional federally funded programs in Kentucky include:
    • Appalachian High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area
    • Operation UNITE operating in southeastern Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District
  • Issues that confront law enforcement regarding drug crimes include:
    • Coordination of services
    • Information/intelligence sharing
    • Staffing needs
    • Fiscal needs