MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — In a multi-faceted collaboration, four local agencies and groups hope to snag a $50,000 grant to attack drug abuse from all angles.
The Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, the Mobile Police Department, the Mobile County District Attorney’s Office and the Drug Education Council have teamed up to submit an application to the University of Baltimore’s Center for Drug Policy and Prevention.
“This is the most dangerous time I have ever seen in street drug use,” Virginia Guy, Executive Director of the Drug Education Council, said. “Almost everything on the street now is not the pure drug.”
The initiative, known as Combatting Overdose Through Community-Level Interaction, is funded directly by the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Guy said the initiative would target ‘hot batches,’ a small amount of drugs that kill a large amount of people in a small area. Her office, she said, would concentrate on educating the public about the dangers of drug abuse.
“It’s a combination of the law of supply and demand where agencies like mine are working on the demand side. We want to reduce the demand for these drugs,” Guy said. “Then we’ve got law enforcement working to eliminate the supply.”
Currently, law enforcement relies on toxicology reports to come back to determine what drugs caused an overdose death.
However, test strips bought with grant money could allow them to test for opioids at the scene, which according to Guy, could be what police need to fill in enough blanks to find a suspect.
As per a new law passed in the previous legislative session, if police can tie a specific death to a specific dealer, that dealer could be charged with murder.
Grant writers from the City of Mobile have provided written permission to submit an application that will be presented to the Mobile City Council in Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
The item is being introduced, and as per protocol, it will be tabled until next week for a decision.