Skip to content

College of Public Affairs

Center for Drug Policy and Enforcement

The Center for Drug Policy and Enforcement (CDPE) brings together policy experts, advocates and scholars dedicated to scientific research and best practices for stopping the proliferation of drugs and violence in our communities. The center focuses on applied research initiatives to reduce drug trafficking, money laundering, firearms trafficking, drug-related violence, and gang activity, and pursues strategies to advance a public-health approach to resolving the core problem of addiction.

Funded entirely through external grants, the CDPE focuses its efforts on Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, and West Virginia, and includes the Washington/Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program. The HIDTA Program—which is strongly aligned with the mission of the College of Public Affairs—is a federal grant program administered by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy that provides resources to assist federal, state, local and tribal agencies in coordinating activities that address drug trafficking in specifically designated areas of the United States.

The goals of the CDPE are to:

  • improve efforts to combat drug trafficking and drug abuse
  • develop innovative approaches to reduce violent crime
  • conduct research on drug and money laundering organizations and gangs
  • provide strategic, operational and tactical criminal intelligence to our clients
  • enhance the college’s academic environment through educational and research opportunities
  • develop new and expand upon existing collaborative relationships with other departments and colleges within the University
  • seek additional grants and other external funding to support its goals.

As part of the College of Public Affairs, the CDPE brings both paid and unpaid undergraduate and graduate internships to the college’s students. Internships with the center frequently result in full-time employment, with the CDPE or one of its participating agencies.


current map of the HIDTA footprint