Shaheen Applauds Reinstatement of Asset Forfeiture Fund for New Hampshire Law Enforcement
**Reinstatement follows calls from Shaheen to resume program for state law enforcement**March 28, 2016
(Manchester, NH) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) welcomed the announcement by Attorney General Loretta Lynch that the Asset Forfeiture Fund, which is an important source of funding for New Hampshire state and local law enforcement, would be reinstated. Late last month at a hearing of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science, Shaheen questioned Lynch on the suspension of the fund and the program’s importance to local law enforcement in New Hampshire.
“Our police are stretched thin and need all the resources they can get to respond to the opioid crisis,” said Shaheen. “Suspension of this critical source of funding couldn’t have come at worse time. However, today I’m very relieved that the Department of Justice will once again allow this funding to be used by our local police departments. It makes sense that assets seized in New Hampshire should go towards fighting crime in New Hampshire. Our officers are saving lives and putting dealers behind bars every day, and I’m very pleased these funds will once again aid them in their efforts.”
Assets seized by police during joint federal and state investigations are generally liquidated by the federal government with a percentage returned to the state. Suspension of state reimbursement through the Asset Forfeiture Fund has resulted in less revenue for purchasing equipment, providing training, and direct support for other police activities. These fiscal challenges have been compounded by the opioid crisis which has put a tremendous burden on law enforcement. The reinstatement of the Asset Forfeiture Fund will give law enforcement access to the resources necessary to continue their work to address the state’s growing opioid crisis.
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