DULUTH – The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will receive more than $1.1 million in federal grant money to put toward drug enforcement, including efforts to curb the spread of opioids and heroin in the state.
The state will receive funds from an anti-heroin task force program, which is run by the Justice Department's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber said in a news release Tuesday.
Stauber, a Republican, represents Minnesota's Eighth District, which contains communities with the highest overdose rates in the state.
"As a former Duluth police officer, I know from firsthand experience that our law enforcement officers are doing everything in their power to combat the drug crisis ravaging our communities, but they need help," Stauber said in the release.
Drug crises have ravaged northeastern Minnesota before, but officials said never to the degree they are seeing today. Since 2013, the average number of opioid-related overdoses in the Duluth region has more than doubled.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration last month announced it will permanently embed two federal agents into a Duluth-based drug task force that operates in the North Shore area.