Drug Forfeiture A Boon To Small County Police Budgets


Small counties still are benefitting from drug seizure proceeds, says the Hutchinson (KS) News. Clark County Sheriff Eric. Bates is getting “a nice windfall” of $50,000. In a county with a population of 2,300 and 960 square miles to patrol, Bates operates with four deputies, five dispatchers, and limited funds for the high-cost battle against drugs. His 2006 operating budget totaled $350,000. A Dec. 1 traffic stop of two women in an older car with an expired New Mexico tag yielded just over $22,000.

A Kansas law requires that drug money seizures be used for training or equipment connected to the war on drugs, Kansas Bureau of Investigation deputy director Kyle Smith said. Because drug dealers don’t want to draw attention to themselves, law enforcement claims to their seized money rarely are contested. In Kingman County, drug money has paid for digital cameras, bullet-proof vests, and two car video cameras, Sheriff Randy Hill said. Deputies regularly patrol U.S. 54, the “pipeline” from New Mexico to Kansas City and on to Chicago. One county used drug proceeds to purchase two off-road vehicles, a Tahoe and a 4-wheel drive pickup truck; laptop computers; night-vision glasses; a covert GPS system and a K-9 dog and training. The sheriff has updated older weapons so all officers are equipped with the same model pistols and shotguns.

Link: http://www.hutchnews.com/news/regional/stories/drugmoney011107.shtml

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