We often hear about the “War on Drugs” and the measures local, state and federal legislative bodies and law enforcement are taking to help minimize the spread of illicit drugs in communities across the United States. The primary focus on these programs is to reduce drug trafficking as well as coordinate all critical resources to help law enforcement agencies to proactively and aggressively deal with the changing nature of drug trafficking. One such program that is operating in the greater Los Angeles area is known at HIDTA, or the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program.
The History of HIDTA
Established in Los Angeles in 1990, the HIDTA program was created by Congress with the establishment of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988. The HIDTA program provides assistance to federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in areas which are determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the United States. There are four key areas that HIDTA programs nationwide address:
- Facilitating cooperation among Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to share information and implement coordinated enforcement activities;
- Enhancing law enforcement intelligence sharing among Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies;
- Providing reliable law enforcement intelligence to law enforcement agencies needed to design effective enforcement strategies and operations; and
- Supporting coordinated law enforcement strategies which maximize use of available resources to reduce the supply of illegal drugs in designated areas and in the United States as a whole.
The Los Angeles HIDTA program is one of 28 HIDTA programs that are currently in operation throughout the United States and its territories. These programs are located in 48 states, as well as in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia.
Areas Of Focus for the Los Angeles HIDTA Program
With each HIDTA program that is implemented, it takes into account the unique economic, geographic and cultural factors of each area. In the Los Angeles area, the following factors dictate where programs are most effective:
- The Los Angeles area is home to three international and 94 smaller municipal airports in which drug smugglers can bring illicit substances into California to be sold locally or nationwide.
- The Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach is the third busiest seaport in the world with five million containers that are processed each year.
- It’s climate and geography supports marijuana cultivation in the nearby mountains, and a substantial concentration of secret labs continue to manufacture substantial quantities of methamphetamine and PCP.
- California’s medical marijuana laws are being exploited by drug traffickers, and as a result both indoor and outdoor marijuana production has been increasing.
The main goals of the Los Angeles HIDTA program is to dismantle and disrupt the business generated through major drug trafficking. Additionally, this program also looks to disrupt money laundering organizations that operate in and through the region with a primary focus on drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, and heroin. When the Los Angeles HIDTA program was created, the area was seen as a major gateway for narcotic drugs–and that distinction still holds true to the present day.
The Structure of the Los Angeles HIDTA Program
The implementation of the strategies used in Los Angeles HIDTA program are the result of the work done by an eighteen member executive committee and its three subcommittees. The executive committee and its three subcommittees take a very active and positive role in determining the strategy, priorities and overall direction of the HIDTA program. As a result of continual input and constant monitoring and guidance, the mutual cooperation and teamwork between all parties helps the program to move forward in a positive direction.
Among the task forces and enforcement agencies help the HIDTA program function smoothly in the greater Los Angeles area include the Southern California Drug Task Force, the Regional Methamphetamine Task Force, the Los Angeles Joint Drug Intelligence Group as well as national law enforcement agencies like the U.S. Marshal’s Office and the FBI. The ways in which the HIDTA program operates are always being refined through periodic reviews and evaluations. Additionally, the executive committee of the Los Angeles HIDTA program performs an annual threat assessment to identify trouble spots and issues that provide challenges to law enforcement and other monitoring organizations.
Effective Drug Treatment is Another Effective Weapon in the Fight Against Drugs
Programs like HIDTA not only focus on the ways on stopping the distribution of illicit substances, these programs also focus on helping those caught in the grips of addiction find the help they need. If you or a loved one needs help with your drug and/or alcohol addiction, contact the experienced professionals at SoCal Detox. We offer drug and alcohol detox programs that are effective and proven to work, and are delivered in state-of-the-art facilities which have the comforts of home.
Call SoCal Detox today and start to wage a winning battle against your substance abuse.