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Molinaro Announces Municipal Innovation Grant Award Focused on Public Safety and Drug Enforcement

Published: 9/20/2017

For More Information Contact:

Colleen Pillus
(845) 486-2000

Poughkeepsie…Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro joined with Dutchess County District Attorney William Grady, Dutchess County Sheriff Adrian “Butch” Anderson, as well as local leaders and law enforcement agencies today to announce the final funding award of this year’s Dutchess County Municipal Innovation Grant Program. The award, totaling $563,821, will be used to provide for the shared service and expansion of the Dutchess County Drug Task Force. The funding will ensure continued law enforcement participation throughout Dutchess County and enable the expansion of Task Force opioid enforcement activities. The funding award is part of the Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement focus area of the grant program, benefiting all 30 municipalities within Dutchess County. The Drug Task Force is a primary example of collaboration and shared service. If each local municipality were to dedicate individual resources to this mission, the total cost is projected at over $3.5 million annually.

County Executive Molinaro and law enforcement officials

County Executive Molinaro said, “The Dutchess County Drug Task Force has been instrumental in uncovering and preventing drug crimes countywide. Our Municipal Innovation Grant Program will provide consistent funding for local municipalities and police agencies to devote resources for ongoing participation in the Task Force. As we work to address the heroin epidemic with innovative efforts such as the Stabilization Center and Substance Abuse Workgroup, the role of the Drug Task Force is more critical than ever to get these drugs off the street, ensuring lives are saved in our community.”

The Municipal Innovation Grant Program funding provides the Drug Task Force with consistent funding, alleviating the financial burden of the four participating police departments, including the City and Town of Poughkeepsie, Town of East Fishkill and City of Beacon. The Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department will be assigning a dedicated police officer to the Task Force, giving greater flexibility in providing for drug and gun targeting and investigation activities. This additional officer will increase the Task Force membership from seven to eight full-time police officers, allowing the Task Force the ability to enhance operations and increase investigations, arrests, and property seizures. Grant funding will also work to strengthen existing partnerships among local municipalities and police agencies while providing the Task Force with a new ability to train partnering law enforcement and emergency response professionals.

Dutchess County District Attorney William Grady said, “The Dutchess County Drug Task Force is vital in our anti-drug trafficking efforts, but the Task Force has been challenged because of the lack of consistent funding available for local municipalities to participate in Drug Task Force activities. This grant funding will ensure we have the necessary resources to devote to this intensive, investigative work.”

The Dutchess County Drug Task Force was created in 1989 to help eliminate the sale, possession and distribution of narcotics in Dutchess County through the use of undercover surveillance, undercover agents, search warrants, wiretaps and other investigative resources. The Drug Task Force’s efforts are led by the Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office with drug investigations being conducted countywide. The Task Force consists of officers assigned by the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office and City of Poughkeepsie, Town of Poughkeepsie, Town of East Fishkill and City of Beacon Police Departments. The Task Force conducts drug investigations as an autonomous unit but, when necessary, interacts with all other police departments in Dutchess County as well as the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies investigating drug activities which may affect Dutchess County. In 2016, the Drug Task Force handled a total of 135 cases, investigated 273 tips, completed 265 buys, 32 search warrants, 15 search warrant raids and seized 12 vehicles.

“As Chairman of the Legislature’s Public Safety Committee and as a member of law enforcement, this grant funding is critical to ensuring that illegal drugs stay off our streets and out of the hands of those who can cause harm to others. The Dutchess County Drug Task Force plays an integral role in the fight against opioids, fentanyl, and heroin within Dutchess County,” said Dutchess County Legislator Ken Roman.

The Drug Task Force is one of 37 projects included in the Dutchess County Countywide Shared Services Tax Savings Plan, submitted last week to the New York State Division of Budget.

The Municipal Innovation Grant Program was created in 2013 to incentivize municipalities, through a competitive grant program process, to consolidate services, produce shared services, eliminate layers of government, evaluate municipal consolidation opportunities and implementation possibilities, establish the regional delivery of services, and/or implement efficiency improvements. The grant program is administered under the direction of the Dutchess County Department of Planning & Development.

Nearly $1.75 million in grants were awarded for 12 projects across Dutchess County as part of this year’s grant program, ranging from a regional ambulance services study to the creation of a streamlined land use development process.  This year’s grant application was released in April and includes the following funding categories: Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement, Land Use/Economic Development and General Innovation.

View all of this year’s Municipal Innovation Grant awards

Learn more about the Municipal Innovation Grant Program.