Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster

Representing the 2nd District of New Hampshire
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Congresswoman Kuster and Congressman Guinta Host Joint Briefing on Homeland Security and Fighting Drug Trafficking

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - 10:00am

Concord, NH – This morning, Congresswoman Annie Kuster and Congressman Frank Guinta hosted a joint briefing for local New Hampshire law enforcement, where they brought in representatives from the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) to describe ongoing efforts to protect homeland security, stop drug trafficking, and prevent terrorist attacks. EPIC works to provide crucial resources to local law enforcement agencies throughout the country by sharing data and analysis. During today’s briefing, New Hampshire law enforcement officials were given an opportunity to learn more about how to take advantage of the services and intelligence EPIC provides.

“These are trying times, and our country faces a number of threats, both foreign and domestic. Particularly here in New Hampshire, we face an ongoing heroin and opioid epidemic that is taking the lives of our loved ones, and creating an unstable and often dangerous working environment for our law enforcement,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster. “I was proud to help bring the El Paso Intelligence Center to New Hampshire, so our local law enforcement members could learn how to take advantage of the intelligence sharing services that EPIC offers. By working together, we can win the fight to get these deadly drugs off our streets, and keep our communities safe from dealers, traffickers, and any other individuals who wish us harm.”

The EPIC mission, as defined by its 2000 General Counter-Drug Intelligence Plan, is to “support U.S. law enforcement, and interdiction components through the timely analysis and dissemination of intelligence on illicit drug and alien movements, and criminal organizations responsible for these illegal activities.” After 2001, the Center expanded its reach to include the investigation and prevention of terrorist attacks. Now labeled an “all-threats center,” during the briefing today EPIC Acting Section Chief John H. Block and Agent John Lawson gave a presentation to local law enforcement members about how they can take advantage of the services offered by EPIC and its agents. These services include, but are not limited to, the sharing and dissemination of analysis and data on illegal drugs, human trafficking, terrorism, and other security matters.

Kuster and Guinta were joined at the briefing by senior law enforcement officials from the Nashua, Salem, Northwood, Concord, Windham, and Keene police departments, as well as by representatives from the NH Association of Police Chiefs, the New England High Intensity Drug Trafficking Agency (HIDTA), the DEA Clandestine Lab Enforcement Team, and the New Hampshire Department of Justice.

Congresswoman Kuster has a longstanding record of working to keep New Hampshire communities safe. She has helped lead the fight in Congress for additional resources for law enforcement officials working to stop the flow of drugs into the state, and she has participated in ride-alongs with law enforcement officials in Keene, Nashua, and Franklin, which provided her with an up-close look at the challenges facing law enforcement.  As the co-founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, she has led the charge in Congress to bring additional awareness to this issue, and she continues to hold a series of regional briefings around the district to ensure the voices of local stakeholders and affected community members are heard.