The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Cheri Oz is pleased to announce the launching of the second year of Operation Engage, a comprehensive community-level approach to address the drug epidemic through prevention strategies, facilitating conversations and collaboration with local partners. “DEA’s priority is saving lives,” said DEA SAC Cheri Oz, further stating, “We are facing unprecedented overdose deaths in our country, which impacts every community. The stakes have never been higher and by working together, utilizing Operation Engage resources we can turn the tide and save lives.”
Yavapai County was one of 11 locations across the United States approved for continued funding for 2022 and will apply our Operation Engage resources on our top local drug threat(s), synthetic fentanyl in Yavapai County, specifically Prescott, Prescott Valley and Chino Valley, focusing on evidence-informed substance use prevention and community outreach efforts. DEA is honored to work alongside our Yavapai County law enforcement and community partners throughout these areas, providing Operation Engage resources, complimenting the great work being done every day, saving lives. We will also continue to address drug trafficking, violence, and crime reduction.
Yavapai County Sheriff David Rhodes stated, “Prevention and education are key to healthy and drug free communities. We’re very excited to continue working in this partnership to bring the facts and truth about the dangers of fentanyl to all of our County residents, particularly young people.”
Operation Engage Yavapai will officially launch March 23rd, 2022, and this year some of the prevention events being brought to Yavapai County by DEA include:
• A College Town Hall to educate the college community and local stakeholders on the dangers of fentanyl/opioids and other dangerous drugs and encourage roundtable conversations to come up with community solutions to keep our kids safe.
• A four day leadership CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America) training for up to 25 local high school students. This training will offer leadership skills training and builds capacity with youth to help them create prevention efforts in their community.
• A 20 hour Citizen’s Academy training program that gives civilians an understanding of the critical mission and work conducted by the DEA.
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.
DEA is grateful for the outstanding Operation Engage Yavapai community partners and the work they do each and every day: Boys and Girls Club of Central Arizona, YMCA of Prescott, MATFORCE, Prescott Valley Police Department, Town of Prescott Valley, Yavapai College, and the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Department.