DEA Launches Operation Engage Spokane to Target Fentanyl
SPOKANE, Wash.–The United States Drug Enforcement Administration is launching Operation Engage in Spokane, Washington. Operation Engage Spokane is a comprehensive community-level approach to address the drug epidemic through prevention strategies, facilitating conversations and collaboration with local partners.
The Seattle Field Division’s proposal was one of 11 approved for continued funding for 2022 and will apply our Operation Engage resources on our top local drug threat, fentanyl in Spokane, focusing on evidence-informed substance use prevention and community outreach efforts. We will also continue to address drug trafficking, violence, and crime reduction in this community.
Operation Engage Spokane launched on Tuesday with the help of our federal, state and local partners, including:
- DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank A. Tarentino III, Seattle Field Division
- United States Attorney Vanessa R. Waldref, Eastern District of Washington
- Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward
- Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich
Marsha Malsam, S.A.F.E. (Spokane Alliance for Fentanyl Education), Rayce Rudeen Foundation
“We continue to see an increase in overdoses and overdose deaths in our communities as a result of the synthetic opioid fentanyl," said DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarentino III. “In response to this ever-increasing threat, the DEA Seattle Field Division is launching a community-level collaborative effort in Spokane to increase awareness and education through a wide range of resources and programs. The impact and overall effectiveness of this initiative is directly dependent on the community, law enforcement, health care, prevention and social service professionals working together to mitigate the fentanyl drug threat. We encourage all Spokane residents and surrounding communities to explore our Operation Engage webpage to learn more about the available resources and programs. We believe it is critically important early on to provide awareness to our communities and families. This learning process is the first step in avoiding drug experimentation, drug misuse, drug addiction, and all related behaviors that are plaguing our communities.”
The goals of Operation Engage are to:
- Identify local drug threat enforcement priorities and substance use trends;
- Support and contribute to local substance use prevention efforts, and
- Bridge local public safety and public health efforts.
The objectives are to:
- Connect DEA field offices with the communities they serve;
- Leverage DEA intelligence to build awareness of local drug threats;
- Raise awareness of local drug threats and change attitudes to reduce substance misuse, and
- Support local drug-free community coalitions, public health and prevention leaders to aid and ensure lasting success.
For more information and local resources, visit Spokane.dea.gov as well as the national page: www.OperationEngage.com.