WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced Tuesday that Boyd County has been chosen for inclusion in the Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program, which provides law enforcement agencies in designated counties with coordination, equipment, technology and additional resources to combat drug production and trafficking.

Boyd County is one of only 13 counties nationwide to receive new HIDTA designations this year.

“I want to personally thank Senate Majority Leader McConnell for his assistance in helping the HIDTA designation become a reality for us,” Boyd County Sheriff Bobby Jack Woods said in a news release. “This HIDTA designation is, in my opinion, the single biggest announcement that will make a major impact toward stopping illegal drugs in our region of Kentucky.”

Ashland Police Chief Todd Kelley said the HIDTA designation will help his team of officers protect the Boyd County community and continue last year’s decline in overdose fatalities.

It recently was reported that drug overdose deaths in Kentucky fell by nearly 15% in 2018 — the largest drop for the state in more than a decade, according to McConnell's office.

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