Mendocino County was officially added to the federal listing as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area last month. The county was one of 10 counties receiving this new designation this year.
In November 2009, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors endorsed Sheriff Tom Allman's application to have the county receive this designation.
Mendocino County is now part of the Northern California HIDTA along with Alameda, Contra Costa, Lake, Marin, Monterey, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Sonoma counties.
Allman told the board in 2009, "This designation is significant to the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, as this would enable our county to utilize the much needed additional Federal resources, made available through HIDTA to help eliminate or reduce drug trafficking and its harmful consequences. The HIDTA Program can provide assistance to Mendocino County in assessing regional drug threats; designing strategies to focus efforts that combat drug trafficking threats; developing and funding initiatives to implement strategies; facilitating coordination between Federal, State and local efforts; and improving our overall effectiveness and efficiency of drug control efforts.
Methamphetamine, and other drug-related activities negatively effects our community's resources, economy and labor workforce; the county's children/youth; and our pristine lands and waterways; while also creating an increased burden on our emergency personnel, law enforcement
Congressman Mike Thompson said, "Mendocino County's HIDTA designation is an important
step in the fight against drug trafficking organizations in our community. Illegal drugs and drug abuse are extremely destructive problems that require an incredible amount of manpower and resources to combat. Additionally, drug traffickers cause significant environmental devastation, diverting streams, dumping trash and chemicals, cutting trees, and generally destroying our public lands. Finally, after years of fighting for this designation, local law enforcement agencies now have the tools they need to keep local families safe and healthy."
There are 28 regional HIDTAs in the United States encompassing counties in 45 states. The area covered by the HIDTA designation encompasses nearly 60 percent of the country's population. Each regional HIDTA has an executive board that aids in coordinating strategies and distributes state and federal resources.