BREAKING: National Guard Just Deployed

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West Virginia Governor Jim Justice (R) has announced that he has deployed the West Virginia National Guard to help tackle the opioid crisis in the city of Huntington, W.V.

The governor has called the opioid epidemic a disaster.

“We have to stop this terrible drug epidemic,” West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said. “We have to. If we don’t, it will cannibalize us.”

“Governor Justice has asked that the West Virginia National Guard use its counter-narcotics support program to provide additional assistance to law enforcement agencies and leaders in the city of Huntington to address the current threats that they face. So the Guard will be providing additional technical support in the way of analytical support, as well as some aviation assets to ensure that we can provide that support work so that law enforcement agents can get out on the street and do the things that they need to do to address these existing threats.”

“I don’t think there is a police department in America that has all the resources they need,” Huntington Police Chief Hank Dial said. “It is a complex problem and it needed a complex solution.”

The guard is flying its Lakota helicopters on reconnaissance missions in coordination with local police, providing eyes in the sky during busts and while serving warrants.

But its primary role is technical and analytical support.

Guardsman, who asked not to be identified, are manning hotlines and working on computers inside Huntington Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Bureau, helping track down dealers and drug networks so cops can focus on the street.

On Wednesday, the guard answered a call that led to the bust of an alleged dealer and the recovery of 430 grams of fentanyl, far more powerful than heroin, with a street value of $86,000.

“We are solving a problem in our country,” said Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, a West Virginia National Guard commander. “And, at the same time, making sure we have the highest level of readiness to respond to something else that may be out there, somewhere else in the world.”

There will not be Humvees blocking roads or soldiers on the street corners with long guns. But the guard could be deployed in this state for years – funded by the state – as long as cops say they need help.



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