More than 500 leaders from the law enforcement, prevention, and treatment communities gathered in Washington, D.C., last month for the 2012 National High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Conference. For two days, a diverse group of speakers addressed the conference on a number of topics, including: the effects of marijuana use on the brain, the importance of intelligence-led policing, and the need for the prevention and law enforcement communities to further their already strong partnership.
Hall of Fame baseball star, Cal Ripken, Jr., kicked off the opening reception on December 12th with remarks about the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, which seeks to provide positive influences for youth in disadvantaged areas. In addition to Senator Max Baucus and Representative Jo Ann Emerson, several leaders in the prevention and law enforcement communities addressed the group, including Dr. Robert DuPont; Dr. Doug Marlowe; Commander Melvin Scott of the Washington, D.C. Police Department; Administrator Michele Leonhart of the Drug Enforcement Administration; FBI Executive Assistant Director Rick McFeely; and INTERPOL Washington Director Shawn Bray—as well as award-winning New Yorker journalist Patrick Keefe and former NFL linebacker Ken Harvey. At the annual HIDTA Awards Banquet, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and ONDCP Director Gil Kerlikowske delivered remarks. In his remarks, Director Kerlikowske provided an update on several ONDCP initiatives and reiterated the Obama Administration’s third way approach to drug policy—a path that balances public health programs, law enforcement, and international partnerships.
In all, 21 task forces and 10 individuals were recognized for their outstanding performance in their effort to reduce drug production and trafficking in the United States. The Washington-Baltimore HIDTA, under the leadership of Director Tom Carr, was selected as HIDTA of the Year.
For information about the HIDTA program, click here.