KNOX CO., Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The Knox County Sheriff’s Department was awarded the Good Samaritan’s State Opioid Response (SOR) Grant totaling $166,800 on Tuesday.

According to a press release from the Samaritan Center, the funds donated to law enforcement agencies are used to help lessen the impact of opioid use as well as overdoses. The grant is designed to give states easier access to FDA-approved medications that will help to treat opioid use along with continued support for prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery support services for those struggling with opioid substance abuse. 

The grant funding also applies to the continued efforts to prevent stimulant misuse and disorders for drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine. The State Opioid Response program works to reduce harm and prevent opioid-related deaths across the country. 

Knox County Sheriff Doug Vantlin was present Tuesday to receive the check from SOR 3 Grant Coordinator Laura Jimenez. Jimenez discussed the significance of the program and partnership for the people of Knox County.

“We know the importance in working with Sheriff Vantlin and sharing our resources so that we can help those in need of treatment. We want to be a great community partner and support our judicial program any way we can,” Jimenez explained. 

Jimenez further explained the SOR program has had over 50 referrals for their program from various law enforcement partners. Sheriff Vantlin commented on the benefits the grant will provide the county.

“The Knox County Sheriff’s Office is very fortunate and appreciative to be receiving this grant. It affords us the opportunity to add one additional Deputy and one additional Jail Officer to our Department,” Vantlin said. “Law Enforcement has direct contact with people suffering from drug addictions and this gives us an avenue to direct the individuals for treatment after release from incarceration. We express our thanks to Good Samaritan and the Samaritan Center for bringing us on board with this program.”