|ANOA Recent Washington Trip|
|Friday, 11 February 2011 14:45|
Between January 30th and February 2nd, Alabama Narcotics Officers’ Association (ANOA) President Clif Roberts, Treasurer Scott Kendall, and myself, attended the National Narcotics Officers’ Associations’ Coalition Board of Delegates meeting in Washington DC. This letter is to advise the members of ANOA, and those concerned, what briefings and meetings were attended and what concerns addressed.
Speakers included the Commissioner Alan Bersin, of the United States Customs and Border Protection; Drug Enforcement Administrator Michele Leonart; DEA Chief of Operations Mr. Tom Harrigan; DEA Deputy Chief of Operations Mr. Dave Gaddis; DEA Chief of Diversion Control Mr. Joe Rannazzisi; DEA Special Agent in Charge of Special Operations Mr. Derek Maltz; Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley; Head Deputy Joseph Esposito of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Major Narcotics Division; General (Retired) Arthur Dean Chairman and CEO of the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America; Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich; Deputy Director Benjamin Tucker of the Office of State, Local and Tribal Affairs from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP); the directors of three of the National Guard Counter-Drug Training Centers and Academies Mr. Bruce Upchurch (Midwest Director), Captain Kraig Kiel (Northeast) and Tim Rutledge (RCTA Director); Pinal County (Arizona) Sherriff Paul Babeu; Director Grayling Williams of the Office of Counternarcotics Enforcement from the Office of Homeland Security; Chief Mark Marshall, President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police; Executive Director David Evans of the Drug Free Schools Coalition; Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense William Wechsler; United States Senator Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota); Director James Burch from the Office of Justice Programs; Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert; and Representative Loiue Gohmert (Texas).
On February 1st, the ANOA Officers met with representatives from all of the Alabama Congressional Staffs. The meetings were held throughout the day followed by a reception honoring Alabama Senator Richard Shelby. Senator Shelby was honored as the Senator of the Year for the National Narcotics Officers’ Associations’ Coalition. The honor was bestowed for the Senator’s consistent support for funding of law enforcement.
The greatest concerns addressed during the meetings were the impending drastic cuts in the federal funding of the Byrne-Justice Assistance Grants (this funds all of law enforcement and particularly drug task forces); the total elimination of the National Guard Counterdrug Program (see RCTA!); and the impending drastic cuts in the federal funding of the RISS Network (this is the parent of the Regional Organized Crime Information Center - ROCIC) and COPS.
In discussions with RCTA Director Rutledge reveal that approximately 1,200 Alabama officers received free training at RCTA in 2010. Alabama cannot lose RCTA! Quality training like this is not available anywhere else. The safety and security of our citizens will be affected as well as the professionalism of law enforcement.
For the 112th Congress, leaders have decided that all Congressmen and women are to travel to their home districts one week, every three weeks, to work. In the following weeks, ANOA officers plan to meet with as many of our representatives at home to continue to educate them on the needs of law enforcement and our members. If any of you wish to assist and help educate, please let me know. Times are rough for funding. The squeaky wheel gets the oil!
In the next few weeks, I will have an opportunity to meet with Alabama Governor Robert Bentley regarding his support of the scheduling of pseudoephedrine. This bill must pass the Alabama Legislature and needs the governor’s support. According to recent methamphetamine lab seizures in Mississippi, numbers have dropped 80% since the scheduling of pseudoephedrine! The majority of Mississippi’s labs are now being found along its borders. That should tell you something! With drastic cuts in COPS funding which provides cleanups to labs, who will pay for lab clean ups? Also, Clif has an upcoming meeting of the Alabama Meth Task Force and understands the District Attorneys Association is drafting legislation scheduling pseudoephedrine at this time.
Thank you for allowing me to continue to serve as your Southern Vice President. We will keep you abreast as things continue to evolve. See you at the beach for the Spring Conference!!