$125K federal grant awarded to help NJ police combat drug use

The funds will help strengthen local efforts to prevent youth substance abuse in and around Secaucus, officials said

By Ron Zeitlinger

SECAUCUS, N.J. — The Secaucus Drug-Free Coalition has received a $125,000 federal grant from the Office of National Drug Control Policy to help police combat drug use in the town, Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-Paterson, announced.

The Drug-Free Communities (DFC) funds will help strengthen local efforts to prevent youth substance abuse in and around Secaucus, officials said

“As every community in America continues to grapple with COVID-19, we must also remain vigilant in our fight against opioids and substance abuse,” Pascrell said. “The Secaucus Coalition is leading the fight to keep harmful drugs out of the hands of our children, and I am elated that we have secured this funding to support their efforts.

Secaucus police have made at least three major drug busts in recent months.

A Union City man who police said was dealing drugs in the town was arrested in September;

A two-month investigation into drug-dealing in Secaucus' North End led to the arrest of two Hudson County men in early July;

Later in July, a town man who police say was using his home as his drug-dealing headquarters was arrested after a month-long investigation.

Created by Congress in 1997, the Drug-Free Communities Support Program is the nation’s leading player in mobilizing communities and using grants to community coalitions to build and strengthen bonds between local partners to prevent youth substance use.

“The Town of Secaucus is pleased to continue with the Drug Free Communities (DFC) Grant for a seventh year,” said Dave Bratton, program coordinator for the Secaucus Coalition. “The DFC grant is an instrumental piece of our town’s efforts to reduce youth substance abuse in our community.

"We are committed in our work to reduce the harms of underage drinking, youth addiction to nicotine due to vaping, and we will continue to remain vigilant regarding new and emerging youth substance abuse issues.”

Pascrell has worked closely with the Office of National Drug Control Policy to bring increased resources to cities and community organizations fighting drug use. In 2018, Pascrell helped secure $450,000 in federal DFC awards for coalitions throughout Bergen and Hudson counties.

Additional DFC grants will be announced in the coming months. The program has grown from $10 million in 1998 to $100 million in 2019, along with the number of grantees from 92 original grantees to more than 2,000 grantees.

(c)2020 NJ Advance Media Group, Edison, N.J.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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