Richmond, Va., – Today, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Division announces the launch of Operation Engage in Richmond, Virginia. Operation Engage is comprehensive, community-level initiative, implemented to target and address the drug and related violence issues in cities with high levels of drug related problems.

Operation Engage is new to Richmond, Virginia this year and will be implemented through the delivery of numerous prevention and outreach programs, the creation of partnerships with community stakeholders, and collaboration with local law enforcement and community partners to provide additional resources to the area, in compliment to the DEA’s continued efforts to address drug trafficking, violence, and crime reduction in this community. The DEA Washington Division’s proposal was one of 11 approved for 2022 and will apply additional resources on our top local drug threats — opioids and methamphetamine — in and among Richmond, Virginia communities. 

“Operation Engage is specifically designed to work within communities and combat the horrific drug violence and overdose crises in Richmond,” said Jarod, Forget, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Washington Division. “Through direct collaboration and engagement with our local community members and partners, we can and will better target these local drug threats, provide customized resources, prevent dangerous drug use, and more effectively tackle violence and overdoses in our neighborhoods and communities.”

The goals of #OperationEngage are to:

  • Identify local drug threat enforcement priorities and substance use trends;
  • Support and contribute to local substance use prevention efforts; and
  • Bridge local public safety and public health efforts

The objectives are to:

  • Connect DEA field offices with the communities they serve;
  • Leverage DEA intelligence to build awareness of local drug threats;
  • Raise awareness of local drug threats and change attitudes to reduce substance misuse; and
  • Support local drug-free community coalitions, public health and prevention leaders to aid and ensure lasting success

“Our data-driven and community-level approach allows us to make informed steps towards community awareness and collaboration in Richmond, Virginia,” said Christopher Goumenis, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Richmond District Office. “We cannot combat the drug issue in our community alone. We must engage our community, adults, and youth to make a real difference in our city.”