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Drug Task Force loses funding


By Alton Mitchell

Budget shortfalls have been a hot topic over the past several months in Alabama and now budget short comings have had a direct effect on the local government in Chambers County. At last Monday’s Chambers County Commissions meeting it was announced that the Chambers County Drug Task Force will have $10,000 less to work with in its 2016 budget.

The County Commission voted to amend the budget for the County’s drug task force lowering it from the amount of $60,500 to $50,500. The drug task force operates mostly through grants received from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. This year that agency suffered from budget cuts and the decrease in funding to Chambers County drug task force is the outcome of the budget shortfalls.

The Chambers County Drug Task Force is a multi-agency collaboration that combines resources and personal from several law enforcement agencies in the County including; the Chambers County Sheriff’s Department, LaFayette Police Department, Lanett Police Department, Valley Police Department, and the Fifth Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office. The purpose of the task force that was first formed in 1998 is to invest crimes of all relevance that pertain to illegal narcotics and their sale, production, and trafficking in the Chambers County area.

The task force will continue to operate in the Chambers County Community and will absorb the cuts in their budget in the form of an $8,000 decrease in overtime and $2,000 decrease in travel expenses. The task force has been responsible for key sweeps to clean up the community the latest made headlines in November and December of 2015 when the task force was able to arrest 52 individuals in the County of 95 charges that ranged from burglary to distribution and manufacturing charges.