DPD, DEA Enter Partnership to Battle Opioids

Program is First of its Kind in United States

DULUTH, Minn. – The Duluth Police Department and Drug Enforcement Agency announced a new partnership to help fight the city’s opioid problem.

As part of this partnership, the DEA will give the city $18,000 to pay for overtime hours during drug raids.  Plus, the city now has access to DEA labs and intelligence databases.

“This is an opportunity for us to formalize that relationship and have all the resources, professionalism, training,” said Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken. “The financial resources the DEA can offer our organization is tremendously helpful in our battle against these opioids.”

Perhaps the most important part of the partnership is that one DPD officer will be trained by the DEA to serve on the Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force. That officer is already in training, but their identity wasn’t revealed.

“It’s like having a special agent up here,” said . Except in this case it’s going to be a task force officer who knows your community, that’s going to remain in your community and has a unique perspective for your community.”

This partnership is a first of its kind program in the nation. The Duluth officer is the only one assigned by the DEA to a task force without a direct supervisor on site as well.

Chief Tusken added his department isn’t looking to arrest their way out of a problem, rather they’re using every resource to battle it.

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