Sen. Young Gets Funding For Drug Interdiction In Allegany County

Photo id (left to right): Deputy Melissa Yerpe, Lieutenant Melanie Churakos, Sheriff Rick Whitney, Senator Young, District Attorney Lori Rieman, Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb and Deputy Joseph Yerpe

Drug Interdiction Funding Check

October 26, 2017

State Senator Cathy Young (R, Olean) announced $90,000 in funding for local law enforcement agencies to support drug interdiction efforts. Senator Young, joined by Cattaraugus County Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb, District Attorney Lori Rieman, and Allegany County Sheriff Rick Whitney, announced the news at a press conference yesterday. “In my conversations with law enforcement officials these days, a word that I hear often is ‘unprecedented’. The heroin and opioid crisis has invaded our rural communities on a scale not seen in previous drug epidemics. In its wake, it has left a trail of heartbroken families, destroyed lives, and tragic, needless deaths,” said Senator Young. “Our law enforcement officers are on the front lines in this war and it is crucial they have the resources they need to investigate and arrest the dealers as well as help those in life-threatening overdose situations.”

Allegany County Sheriff Rick Whitney said their department anticipates using the funds for mobile digital terminals (MDT) in narcotics investigators’ cars – computers which allow officers to communicate directly with remote crime information databases. The funding will also support the cost of overtime for narcotics investigators and an infrared camera to help detect marijuana growing operations. Sheriff Whitney said, “Allegany County continues to see a steady flow of narcotics, with heroin, suboxone and prescription drugs driving the majority of arrests. The biggest challenge is the fact that dealers within the underground drug scene are continually changing their product and operations in an attempt to ‘outsmart’ law enforcement. This requires our investigators to constantly shift their tactics to remain effective in this fight.”

“Senator Young’s commitment to this issue has been invaluable. She has been a staunch advocate on the legislative front and has fought tirelessly for funding to help local law enforcement deal with the situation on the ground. We are fortunate to have her on our side in this battle.”