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Operation Engage Southern California

"SAC Bodner"
William Bodner, Special Agent in Charge

I am William Bodner, Special Agent in Charge of the Los Angeles Field Division and I’d like to welcome you to Operation Engage!

As we all know, there are far too many non-fatal and fatal drug overdoses affecting our communities, and sadly, these numbers are increasing. In response, DEA has moved toward community-level collaborative efforts to help reduce these numbers through education and awareness, using our wide range of resources.

Through Operation Engage, our division will focus on Southern California, targeting the fentanyl drug threat. Other components of Operation Engage include:

  • Stakeholder/Community Gatherings: To share the latest information about drug trends, drug threats, and other related pertinent information.
  • The DEA’s Citizens Academy: DEA recognizes the importance of forging strong alliances with local communities and maintaining collaborative relationships with community leaders. The DEA’s Citizens Academy offers participants the opportunity to understand the world of federal drug law enforcement and the important role the DEA and the community together, play in combating drug trafficking, drug misuse, and related violence.
  • Youth Engagement: Through programs like the DEA Educational Foundation Youth Dance Program and in collaboration with CADCA and the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation, children of all ages will be able to actively participate in age-appropriate activities, designed for them to learn and gain the most knowledge about the dangers of drugs in a fun way.
  • Community Outreach Programs: DEA, along with stakeholder involvement, will concentrate efforts in the communities most affected by fentanyl use. In those targeted communities, the Los Angeles Field Division will participate in facilitating prevention strategies to include, but not limited to, drug prevention training and technical assistance for communities, coalition outreach, and prescription drug take back events to name a few.

These are only a few of the many resources and opportunities we have available to share with our communities.

I invite you, and your families, to explore our Operation Engage webpage to learn about the many resources we have available. Learning as a family, early on, is the first step in avoiding drug experimentation, drug misuse, drug addiction, and all related behaviors that are plaguing our communities. 

Always at your service,
SAC Bodner

"california"Top Local Drug Threat

Local DEA officials have identified fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, as the area's top drug threat.

In California, there were over 3,200 opioid-related deaths in 2019. Approximately half were due to fentanyl.

Learn more about how the opioid epidemic is affecting specific counties in Southern California on the California Opioid Overdose Surveillance Dashboard.

See Related: Get the latest information from the DEA about fentanyl from the 2020 Drug Threat Assessment.

Drug Information

"fentanyl powder and pills"What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine. Pharmaceutical fentanyl was developed for pain management treatment of cancer patients, applied in a patch on the skin. Because of its powerful opioid properties, fentanyl is also diverted for abuse.

Fentanyl is added to heroin to increase its potency, or be disguised as highly potent heroin. 

Read more.

WATCH: As a nation, in spite of our differences we can all agree on one common enemy: drug addiction. Prevention works when we act early.

Here is a list of our local Operation Engage partners.

Los Angeles County, Department of Public Health

Los Angeles Sparks

Milken Institute

Mentor Foundation USA

Safe Med LA Coalition

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Senator Melendez Office-Riverside

Tarzana Treatment Centers 

United States Attorney’s Office | Central District of California 

Information for Local Partners

Are you looking for new funding opportunities for your organization? Check out two that are currently available through the Office of Justice Programs that might be of interest.

​​​​​FY 2021 Second Chance Act Community-Based Reentry Program
(Grants.gov Deadline:  April 13, 2021 11:59 PM, JustGrants Deadline: April 27, 2021 11:59 PM) 
*nonprofit organizations and tribal for-profit organizations are eligible to apply

OJJDP FY 2021 Mentoring for Youth Affected by the Opioid Crisis and Drug Addiction 
(Grants.gov Deadline:  March 30, 2021 11:59 PM, JustGrants Deadline: April 13, 2021 11:59 PM)
*nonprofit and for-profit organizations are eligible to apply

Looking for local prevention resources specifically for young people? Check out this list below:


Day One  

Day One trains middle school, high school, and college students to be positive role models,
ambassadors for healthy lifestyles, and informed and engaged members of their communities.
Based on the social influence model, which has been determined by CSAP, NIDA, OJJDP, 
US Department of Education as an effective prevention approach, youth are educated about
public and community health issues - such as understanding the health impacts of poor diet,
alcohol/drug use, and sedentary lifestyles - and how to effect positive, lasting change in their
communities. Our program also covers techniques to resist social pressures, support others in
making healthy choices, and determining positive alternatives. 

Day One Pasadena Youth Advocate Program
Meets every Wednesday at 4 pm
bit.ly/DayOneYA (case sensitive)
Instagram Account: @day1do

Day One Pomona Youth Advocate Program
Meets every Wednesday at 4 pm
Instagram Account: @dopomona

Day One El Monte Youth Advocate Program
Meets every Wednesday at 4 pm
Instagram Account: @dopomona


Go to FindTreatment.gov to search for general drug treatment facilities in your area. On this site, you can find facilities that offer various payment options (including free and no-cost care), youth treatment facilities, special programs for Veterans, plus more.

Otherwise, enter your zipcode below to find substance abuse treatment facilities in your area.  

What is Naloxone?

"Naloxone graphic"Naloxone is an opioid receptor antagonist that rapidly binds to opioid receptors, blocking heroin from activating them. An appropriate dose of naloxone acts in less than 2 minutes and completely eliminates all signs of opioid intoxication to reverse an opioid overdose.

Finding Naloxone in LA

Due to the statewide standing order, Californians can get naloxone without a prescription at pharmacies across the state.

See where you can find the anti-overdose drug here.

No-Cost Food Giveaways

Food is a basic need. For many people who turn to substance misuse, one of the main concerns is dealing with stress factors such as lack of food.

L.A. County has the resources to help. Find out where you or your family can get free food near you.

Webinar: Talking with Children About Violence

Life Care is hosting this free webinar that provides parents with information on keeping children safe from violence. The session will cover the prevalence of violence, talking to children about violence, safety strategies and preventive skills and recognizing reactions to violence.

Date: April 14, 2021
Time: 12:00 p.m. Eastern

Register for the event.

Take Back Day

"Take Back day logo"National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a safe, convenient, and responsible way to dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs at locations in communities throughout the country. 

Date: April 24, 2021
Time: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Where: locations across the country

For more information, visit the official Take Back Day website.

Connect With Us!

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Stay up to date with the Operation Engage initiative in Los Angeles by following:

DEA Los Angeles Twitter account @DEALOSANGELES, and the hashtags:

#OpEngageSoCal and #EngagewithSoCal

Do You Have Any Questions, Concerns, or Feedback?

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