The Drug Enforcement Administration is reopening an office in Southwest Kansas.
According to the agency, they will reopen their Garden City office. DEA officials closed the office two years ago, but are reopening it due to a rise in drug trafficking and drug-related violence in the area. Six new agents will relocate to Garden City within a few weeks, including two DEA special agents and four task force officers.
The agency says the additional law enforcement presence will bring more resources to Western Kansas, where federal agents will develop intelligence and increase enforcement efforts in a region were resources are needed to address the drug threats facing the area.
“After assessing the drug enforcement needs of Kansas, and working with my executive team and our law enforcement partners, it has become evident that we need DEA presence in Western Kansas,” said DEA St. Louis Division Special Agent in Charge William Callahan. “Drug traffickers who operate in Western Kansas will face a unified front of federal, state and local law enforcement working for a safe and drug free community.”
The new office improves DEA’s ability to fight the methamphetamine problem across Kansas. This opening not only helps DEA combat the drug organizations operating in Garden City, but allows DEA to better spread its resources across the rest of Kansas.
“The Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program is proud to have DEA assert its permanent presence in Western Kansas,” said Executive Director of the Midwest HIDTA Jeffrey Stamm. “In concert with the already exceptional commitment to drug law enforcement by other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in the area, DEA’s global drug expertise and resources will unquestionably advance public safety and public health for the citizens of Kansas, and the entire Midwest.”
“Having an opportunity for law enforcement at all levels to work together in close proximity provides a true advantage. It allows for the immediate exchange of critical information and ideas, and the sharing of resources,” said Kansas Bureau of Investigation Director Kirk Thompson. “We are extremely pleased to have DEA agents assigned to Southwest Kansas again so we can work toward our common goal of halting the spread of drugs, and drug violence, in this region.”
“Today’s announcement is of great value, not only for our community, but to all communities in Western Kansas,” said Garden City Police Department Chief Michael Utz. “Fighting criminal activity, especially drug trafficking, has become more complex today than ever before. Past experience has shown a nexus between violent crime and illicit drugs.”