Oct 18 2011
U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) was named “Congressman of the Year” by the Kentucky Narcotics Officers’ Association (KNOA) during the organization’s annual conference in Louisville, Kentucky on Monday, October 17, 2011.
“I am honored to be recognized by the men and women who are on the front lines every day in the war on drugs,” said Rogers. “I attended the KNOA conference to encourage these officers, despite the overwhelming scourge of drugs in our Commonwealth. Their undercover operations are vital to bringing major and street level drug dealers to justice. We need to continue sending out the message: if you’re using drugs, get help; if you’re dealing drugs, get out.”
"Whether we need his support in Washington, Frankfort or across southern and eastern Kentucky, Congressman Rogers is a powerful voice for law enforcement agencies across the state," said Vic Brown, President of KNOA and director of Kentucky HIDTA. "We named him Congressman of the Year for his tenacity in fighting the drug problem, as well as ensuring we have the tools necessary to be effective in investigating illicit drug trafficking and abuse."
With the rate of meth labs continuing to climb in Kentucky, Rogers reiterated his support to return the drug’s main ingredient, pseudoephedrine, to a prescription-only medication. He commended State Senator Tom Jensen, House Speaker Greg Stumbo and State Representative Linda Belcher for their efforts in proposing legislation last year. KNOA named Sen. Jensen, Kentucky Senator of the Year and Rep. Belcher, Kentucky Representative of the Year.
Rogers presented Kentucky State Police Lt. Col. Joe Williams, Director of Operations, with a “Difference Maker Award” for his exemplary leadership in the war on drugs.
Rogers also commended Frank Rapier, the director of Appalachia HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area), who is scheduled to retire in November. Rapier has been the director of Appalachia HIDTA, serving Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia for nine years and served more than 30 years as a special agent for the U.S. Treasury.
KNOA named Bret Kirkland and David Hayes the 2011 Narcotics Officers of the Year for the east and west divisions. Kirkland is a detective with Kentucky State Police and David Hayes is an agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in Bowling Green. The organization also honored Dave Keller, who recently retired as director of Kentucky HIDTA and Dave Gilbert, who recently announced his retirement from the Lake Cumberland Area Drug Task Force.
Rogers has served Kentucky's 5th Congressional District since 1981. During that time, he has focused on ways to battle the scourge of drugs in southern and eastern Kentucky and across the nation. In 2003, he helped launch Operation UNITE, a non-profit organization utilizing a three-pronged approach to impact the drug epidemic through investigations, treatment and education. He co-founded the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse, implemented the Hal Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program to launch electronic tracking systems across the country, and communicates regularly with the FDA, ONDCP, medical professionals and law enforcement agencies about ways to improve efforts to battle the epidemic.