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Fentanyl, staffing top of mind for law enforcement

By Edgar Cedillo,


Fentanyl and staffing continue to be top of mind for law enforcement agencies across southwest Montana.

Senator Tester met with sheriff’s officials from Gallatin and Lewis and Clark counties, as well as Belgrade and Bozeman city police chiefs.

Tester heard their concerns about the increase in fentanyl across Montana, and many of the sheriff’s officials called on Tester to urge the Biden Administration to secure the southern border, and list cartels as terrorist organizations.

Funding was an issue many departments face. They told Tester they want more flexibility with how grant funding is used. As well as funding for preventative measures for dealing with the drug problem, like more funding for mental health and treatment.

Staffing was a huge point of concern for many of the officials. They say the rapid growth in the area had made it hard for staffing departments to keep up with the rapid growth, and the need for officers, cars, and equipment continues to increase for departments as they try to fill positions.

“It’s going to be a heavy, heavy lift but I’m looking for opportunities to maybe start another training center for police officers here and maybe more in eastern Montana. We’ve got one in Helena but it’s a big state and I think if we can get people in law enforcement it will help,” said Senator Tester.

Tester says he will take the ideas from today and urge for action from the Biden Administration and other departments.

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