Seattle police chief named to head White House drug office
The White House on Wednesday named the chief of the Seattle, Washington police force to head US drug control policy as concern has grown about drug-related violence in neighbouring Mexico, dpa reported.
Gil Kerlikowske, a 36-year police veteran who has led the Seattle force for nine years, will serve as director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, coordinating international and domestic anti-drug efforts across the government.
"Violent drug trafficking organizations are threatening both the United States and Mexican communities," Vice President Joe Biden said in announcing the appointment. "As drug czar, the chief will pay a central roll in developing and implementing the Southwest border strategy."
Biden stressed that the violence had increased in recent years, with 7,000 drug-related murders in Mexico since the beginning of 2008.
Kerlikowske characterized the drug problem as an issue of human suffering that he has experienced in his family, as well as a police officer, and called for coordinated efforts among the departments of state, justice, homeland security and health.