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Gov. Kotek announces immediate OSP action on fentanyl enforcement, disruption strategies

Multi-colored 'rainbow' fentanyl
Multi-colored 'rainbow' fentanyl

Says 'urgent and thoughtful plan' aims to cut supply, hold dealers accountable

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Governor Tina Kotek announced Tuesday that the Oregon State Police are launching several new statewide fentanyl strategic enforcement and disruption strategies, at her direction.

The governor made the announcement at the second convening of the Portland Central City Task Force (PCCTF). OSP Superintendent Casey Codding, who Governor Kotek appointed earlier this year, also serves on the PCCTF Community Safety committee.

“I want all Oregonians to know that the state is moving forward with several new fentanyl strategic enforcement and disruption strategies,” Governor Kotek said. “I'm grateful to Superintendent Codding and his team for bringing forward an urgent and thoughtful plan. As we work to cut the supply of fentanyl and hold dealers accountable for selling dangerous drugs, I also remain fully committed to expanding access to critical behavioral health services.”

“This announcement says something important about ourgGovernor: she is impatient about the right things,” Dan McMillan said. “We have committed to deliver actionable recommendations from the task force in just three short months. The fact that the state is putting skin in the game this early bodes well for the work ahead.”

The Oregon State Police’s Fentanyl Strategic Enforcement and Disruption Initiative includes:

  • Increasing and reallocating staff to strategic local drug enforcement teams, including local and regional teams.
  • Designing and hosting interagency saturation patrols, with an emphasis on fentanyl interdiction using teams of narcotic enforcement K-9’s, drug enforcement detectives, and patrol resources.
  • Partnering with the DOJ to update and make interdiction training available to our public safety partners to avoid unlawful searches and address potential biases prior to the implementation of enhanced enforcement strategies.
  • Extending their High Visibility Enforcement Unit (HVEU) pilot that kicked off this summer, which uses a data driven approach to identifying drug and alcohol impaired drivers who present a danger to public safety.

“The terrible impacts of fentanyl here in Oregon are plain to see,” Superintendent Codding said. “The Oregon State Police is steadfastly committed to stopping its distribution and increased use in our communities through proactive interdiction and enforcement, and through collaboration with community, public health, education, and public safety partners.”

In 2023, the Oregon State Police has seized 62 pounds of powder and 232,962 fentanyl pills before it could reach Oregon communities and put lives at risk.

The Governor has made her position clear that public consumption of controlled substances is a problem that needs to be urgently addressed in this upcoming legislative session. She commends Mayor Ted Wheeler and the Portland City Council for their partnership in this effort in passing an emergency ordinance in recent weeks. The task force will discuss a path forward work with legislators to fix the issue.

The PCCTF will have its next meeting in October. Each of the task force committees, including Central City Value Proposition, Livable Neighborhoods, Community Safety, Housing and Homelessness, Taxes for Services, have and will continue to meet regularly between task force meetings. The co-chairs have committed to presenting actionable recommendations at the Oregon Business Summit on December 11.

View the PCCTF website here.
Take the survey here.

Article Topic Follows: Oregon-Northwest

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