County Designation FAQ

Appalachia HIDTA County Designation Frequently Asked Questions

Question: My county just received HIDTA designation when will my department get a check?

The HIDTA Program Policy and Budget Guidance specifically forbids funding individual agencies.


Question:  If HIDTA does not fund agencies what does the HIDTA program fund?

The HIDTA program exists to bring law enforcement agencies together, therefore the HIDTA program only funds multi-agency drug task forces comprised of federal, state and local law enforcement working together in the same workspace.


Question: Our coalition submitted a petition in January when will a determination be made on our petition?

Normally AHIDTA receives notification from the Office of National Drug Control Policy in early fall each year.


Question:  It seems like a lot of work forming the coalition and producing the petition.  What is my coalitions chances of gaining HIDTA designation?

Although it is very difficult to gage the likelihood of any one petition gaining approval, historically AHIDTA has gained approval for approximately 30% of petitions submitted.


Question:  Why is so many counties in Southeastern Kentucky and Eastern Tennessee designated as HIDTA counties?

The most difficult criteria to meet when petitioning for HIDTA designation is drug-related activities in the area are having a significant, harmful impact in the area and in other areas of the United States.  When Appalachia HIDTA was formed in 1998 it was designated as a marijuana HIDTA.  At that time counties in Southeastern Kentucky and Eastern Tennessee had the highest marijuana plant count, clearly these areas produced marijuana that was being shipped throughout the United States.  In 2002 AHIDTA was designated a poly drug HIDTA and was permitted to fund efforts to disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking organizations involving any illegal drug.   


Question:  If my petition for designation is approved, how much funding will my task force receive?

The AHIDTA staff under the direction of the AHIDTA Executive Director prepares a budget for each new county petition to submit to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.  The Office of National Drug Control Policy ultimately determines how much, if any, funding is received as a result of a county being added to the HIDTA Program.  The average budget for an AHIDTA funded law enforcement task force is $150,000.00 annually.


Question:  What types of expenditures are approved for AHIDTA Program funding?

Overtime for task force officers, task force officer training, task force equipment, investigative travel, purchase of evidence, purchase of information, services in furtherance of an active criminal investigation and others.


Question:  Can I operate a multi-agency task force on HIDTA funding only?

No, HIDTA funding is considered seed money or supplemental funding.  The participating agencies will need to provide some level of funding to support the task force including assigning personnel to the task force on a full-time basis. 


Question:  The Mayor is excited about our counties HIDTA designation; he intends to start a drug treatment program in our city as a result of the funding provided by HIDTA.  Is this permissible?

No, HIDTA program funds are not allowed to be used for drug treatment.  It is prohibited in the federal laws that created the HIDTA Program.


Question:  Why is drug treatment prohibited in the law that created the HIDTA program?

There are many federal programs that provide funding for the treatment of substance abuse disorder.  The HIDTA Program is designed to be a law enforcement program. 


Question:  My Chief and Sheriff are excited about the county being designated as a HIDTA area, they stated we should begin having many more drug round ups.  Is this correct?

No, the HIDTA program and the task forces funded through the HIDTA program are mandated to investigate Drug Trafficking Organizations.  Drug Trafficking Organizations are upper level organizations that consist of five or more people working in concert to traffic in illegal drugs.