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(INDIANAPOLIS) – Federal anti-drug funding for Indianapolis and LaPorte County is getting a boost.

Indianapolis and northwest Indiana are the state’s only “High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas.” That’s an official federal label that allows them to receive money for overtime, surveillance equipment, and other expenses involved in prosecuting drug dealers. The program began in 1990 — Indianapolis received its first grant in 2016.

Congress has approved a 10{67cfbb0b132a6b5b3ee724f4f3e93544eae70154f8be103048380fa52e4548d8} funding increase this year, which means Indianapolis will receive a half-million dollars.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry says charges in some drug cases are directly traceable to investigations which would have been difficult to fund without the grants.

The grants also include money for treatment programs at county jails. Marion County Sheriff John Layton says mental illness and drug abuse are so common among offenders that local sheriffs in effect are often the biggest mental-health provider in their counties.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry (left) with Sheriff John Layton (Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)