XENIA — The Greene County Agencies for Combined Enforcement (ACE) Task Force is set to receive $126,558 from the RecoveryOhio Law Enforcement Fund.
According to a press release, nearly $2.3 million in grants from Gov. Mike DeWine’s RecoveryOhio Law Enforcement Fund will be awarded among 30 existing drug task forces to help them identify high-level drug traffickers, dismantle large drug trafficking organizations, interrupt the flow of money and drugs from international cartels, and prevent the sale of illegal narcotics to those suffering from substance use disorders.
The Greene County ACE Task Force is comprised of the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, the Beavercreek, Fairborn, and Xenia police departments, and the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office.
“The grants help pay for salaries, drug efforts for the county, investigative equipment for the task force to operate, etc., said ACE Task Force Commander Dennis Eng. “We have nine individuals on the task force. There are around 43 task forces in Ohio and we’re competing with them and other agencies for funds.”
The task for continuously apply for these grants because the funds are not always there, Eng added.
“Our unit is more focused on long term types of investigations — mainly drug trafficking, human trafficking, organized crime, etc. Grant funding tremendously helps the task force,” he said.
On Wednesday, State Rep. Brian Lampton (R-Beavercreek) issued a statement on local drug force funding in support of reducing drug use and provide substance abuse awareness and prevention.
“I supported the funding for this program in the state’s operating budget last year. This is one step in the right direction in fighting the drug epidemic here in Ohio, and I look forward to seeing how the program will aid Greene County specifically,” Lampton said.
Established in 1986, the ACE Task Force has been around an estimated 37 years. It was created to help departments that didn’t have the resources to assist with various crimes and investigations. The task force also collaborates with the Mental Health Board, TCN Behavioural Center, etc., in an effort to help individuals rather than institutionalize them.
“We are hoping to expand the task force and search out the right resources,” said Eng, who acknowledged the task force appreciates all the help it receives from the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office concerning search warrants, indictments, administrative seizures, forfeiture of assets, and other legal matters.