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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) — The office of Governor Kay Ivey announced $1.6 million in funds awarded to the fight against illegal drugs and drug-related crime in Alabama.

In the announcement Wednesday, it was reiterated that public safety is a major priority for the Ivey Administration.

$202,557 was awarded to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) and the state’s seven regional drug task forces. These funds will be used to continue the battle against drug sellers, manufacturers and users throughout the state.

The task forces are headed by ALEA, formed in 2018, and are made up of members from law enforcement agencies within their region.

Each region is made up of eight to 12 counties, although task force members have law enforcement powers in each jurisdiction.

In 2021, there were nearly 800 arrests and large amounts of illegal drugs were seized, including 2.3 million grams of marijuana, 508,483 grams of methamphetamine and 66,664 grams of cocaine. Several firearms and a significant amount of drug-related money was also seized during investigations. 

Funds will be used to cover overtime and operational and equipment expenses. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funds from the U.S. Department of Justice.