Federal budget expected to make big cuts to Greater Cincinnati anti-drug programs

Posted at 4:30 AM, May 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-23 06:58:39-04

LEBANON, Ohio -- President Donald Trump's 2018 budget proposal is expected to include some major cuts to federal drug programs.

Some local officials say those cuts could have a devastating effect in the Tri-State.

The proposed cuts to the Office of National Drug Control Policy would reduce its budget by 95 percent, from $388 million to $24 million.

"I can't imagine anybody sitting around a table, thinking about eliminating a program that would devastate our efforts," Warren County Sheriff Larry Sims said.

Money from the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program is for places where drugs are the worst, like Cincinnati. The program provides collaboration between local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

Sims sits on Ohio's executive board.

"If you eliminate that program, then you will greatly, significantly impact our abilities to prosecute these people or even identify who these people are," Sims said.

Sen. Rob Portman recently spoke out against the cuts.

"I ask my colleagues to join me in urging the OMB director and the folks in the White House who are making these decisions not to take this course of action," Portman said.

Hamilton and Warren counties are both considered High Intensity Drug Trafficking areas because of highways that are used for distributing and importing drugs. Kenton, Campbell and Boone counties were also added to the list last fall.

Funding resources are already stretched, according to Sims.

"I don't think we can do anything less that's going to really help our communities," he said.