Last of 53 TX Multi-County Drug Task Forces Shuts Down This Week


Texas once had 53 multi-county drug task forces, were first regulated by the state and later de-funded by the Governor after a series of scandals in Tulia, Hearne, and elsewhere. As of June 30, the last of those entities will officially no longer exist, reports the Grits for Breakfast blog. The task forces once employed more than 700 officers, but after the Governor shifted their funds to border security and other priorities, only one was able to keep going.

That was The West Central Texas Interlocal Crime Task Force, which had a large sum of money in the bank from a massive 1999 currency bust. With that $9.9 million stash, the task force remained operational long after others were closed. Several other task forces had hoped to stay open through an “eat what you kill” strategy, living off asset forfeiture income. That revenue turned out to be unreliable at best. The Abilene Reporter News said that in 2011, with seizures down, the decision was made not to keep the last remaining task force, and its $750,000 annual operating budget, afloat.

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