Why police are preparing for cocaine influx in East Tennessee
Just a day after speaking at the White House, Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch said his department is prepared for a potential influx of cocaine.
"It's been one of the largest coca crop growth seasons in South America, so we know it's coming, we know it's coming, so we've got to be ready," said Rausch.
Rausch said his department will be ready while they continue to fight an opioid crisis that President Trump declared a public health emergency.
"We owe it to our children and to our country to do everything in our power to address this national shame and this human tragedy," said Trump on Thursday.
Rausch spoke as well Thursday at the White House addressing issues in East Tennessee and across the country.
"This is personal to me. We have experienced horrible tragedies in our community," said Rausch.
Trump declaring a public health emergency will only allow access to $56,000 in funding. critics say the president isn't going far enough.
Former drug czar for President Obama, Michael Botticelli said Trump's plan is just rhetoric.
"I, unfortunately, think it's largely rhetoric and very shallow in terms of really taking major actions against the epidemic,": said Botticelli.
According to the House Appropriations Committee, the federal government estimates combating the crisis costs $75 billion per year and that nearly 12 million people misused opioids last year.
Chief Rausch said he thinks Trump is taking appropriate measured steps.
"I've heard criticism that he didn't go far enough, quite frankly I think what he is doing is taking measured steps," said Rausch.