WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) introduced legislation that would increase support for a National Guard program that helps local law enforcement and community organizations address the heroin and opioid pandemic. The Shaheen-Capito bill will extend the availability of funding for the National Guard Counterdrug Program from one to three years. This program provides local law enforcement with highly-trained analysts to support their counter-narcotic efforts. This funding change will give the Guard the certainty it needs to better support long-term, drug interdiction efforts.

The West Virginia National Guard Counterdrug Program has resulted in drug seizures totaling over $500 million dollars. From 2011 through 2015, New Hampshire law enforcement agencies supported by the National Guard Counterdrug Program have reported well over $100 million in seizures of drugs, cash, property, and weapons related to criminal narcotics cases worked on by Counterdrug Analysts.

“The National Guard Counterdrug Program partners with law enforcement agencies and communities in the fight against drugs, performing analysis, conducting surveillance and providing training and support,” said Senator Capito. “This legislation provides stability and increases effectiveness by authorizing this important program to utilize its funding for up to three years, instead of just one. Doing so will help improve efforts by the National Guard and Department of Defense to deter the threats posed by drugs.”

“The New Hampshire Guard is providing invaluable support to our law enforcement as they battle every day to keep drugs off our streets,” said Senator Shaheen. “This important partnership has helped shutdown drug dealing networks and stop drugs from coming into our state. My legislation makes a small change to the National Guard’s budget that will allow them to make big improvements to this counterdrug program. Our law enforcement need all the help they can get to battle the heroin and opioid pandemic, and it’s important that we improve these programs that are working.”

The National Guard Counterdrug Program is a federally funded program that provides military specific skill-sets to law enforcement agencies and community based organizations to battle the supply and demand for illicit drugs.