The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Division is taking community outreach seriously this summer. Under their new Operation Engage DMV initiative, Washington Division agents, analysts, and other specialists are joining with law enforcement, prevention, and community partners across Washington D.C. and Prince George’s County, Maryland to host “pop up” events in some of the area’s hardest-hit communities.
The Washington Division and local partners like the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, the City of District Heights Police Department, and the Prince George’s County Police Department have seen an uptick in criminal activity and have been vetting ongoing complaints from area residents regarding violent crime and drug activity in the area.
During recent Operation Engage Community Stakeholder meetings, the Washington Division has fielded concerns of law enforcement efforts not visible in their neighborhoods, and the violence and drug crimes specific communities are experiencing.
In areas that have seen increases in crimes from shootings, deadly carjacking, and other drug-related crime, the DEA and their partners aim to make a difference.
Since early spring, the DEA Washington Division community outreach team has been working with local partners to identify the communities and neighborhoods most in need, partner with the participants and service providers that would best serve the needs of that community, and host numerous pop-up events, every month.
During these events, DEA personnel chat with local residents, hear their concerns, socialize the prevention efforts and materials they can provide, and warn of the dangers associated with drugs, particularly since more fentanyl has come into the area.
“We are particularly concerned about the risk to our young people,” said Special Agent in Charge, Jarod Forget. “With the summer starting, more time online, less parental monitoring, and the ease and ability to order counterfeit pills and drugs online, we want to get the word out.”
Fentanyl has been the main cause of overdose deaths, which have soared throughout the region since the COVID crisis hit.
The DEA’s presence, along with D.C. area community partners and law enforcement agencies, has proven so helpful in the D.C. area communities, so far, efforts are being expanded to hard hit communities in the Baltimore, Maryland area, as well.
For more information on community pop ups and other events in your area, see our Events site at: https://www.dea.gov/what-we-do/news/events