Federal Budget Cut Imperils Ky. Anti-Drug Task Forces' Efforts

HAZARD, KY -- Drug task forces across Kentucky are facing severe budget restrictions -- and in some cases closure -- after Congress approved a bill last week that will slash the task forces' largest source of funding, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader in its Tuesday edition.

According to the Kentucky Narcotics Officers' Association, the bill -- which is expected to be signed this week by President Bush -- cuts $350 million from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program.

The Byrne JAG program, which received $520 million in funding during the 2007 fiscal year, was budgeted only $170 million for 2008 in the bill approved by Congress last week, said Tommy Loving, director of the Bowling Green-Warren County Drug Task Force and executive director of the Narcotics Officers' Association, reports the newspaper.

The Byrne JAG program, administered by the U.S. Department of Justice, emphasizes helping state and local governments combat violence, hold offenders accountable and break the cycle of substance abuse and crime.

Some states use the grant money to fight gangs. In Kentucky, it funds 14 drug task forces. This year, Kentucky received about $2.6 million, Loving said. He said the cuts equate to about a 68 percent decrease in funding. At least four task forces will be forced to close unless they can find another source of money, reports the Herald-Leader.

With one swoop of the pen, Loving said, Bush will "cripple and devastate" drug enforcement in many Kentucky communities.

"Without these task forces, you are not going to have people in many of these areas conducting undercover drug investigations," Loving said. "Uniformed officers may work very diligently but without the time and resources to work on long-term investigations, they are not as successful. They can't get at major traffickers and major drug organizations like these task forces ... can."

Copyright: Lexington Herald-Leader

http://www.kentucky.com/news/state/story/268111.html


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Slick on Dec 28, 2007 at 11:48 AM
    Hey Denny, you want them to let all the inmates out so you can have a family reunion or what? sounds like it to me.
  • by Allen on Dec 28, 2007 at 11:31 AM
    I like it,lets get rid of the police all together!!! Better yet all the people who want to live in a civil place move to one part of the state and let the people that do not want laws to move to one part. That will keep them cops away so I can steal, rape kids, drive dui, shoot people at gas stations, and cook meth with my kids in the house and kill my buddy over a pot deal or shoot someone because they sold me fake dope but miss and shoot your kid. Down with law and order. THAT sounds great, heat up the crack pipe William, Chrissy, Bill and Denny.
  • by floyd t on Dec 28, 2007 at 07:44 AM
    this is good i like do drugs why s my tax dollar going to cops fur anyways i don t have no job and taxus killin me
  • by William on Dec 28, 2007 at 07:27 AM
    Locking up drug offenders has filled the prison population exponentially. When offenders get out they find themselves with no possibility for employment and typically turn back to drugs. Why dont we spend this money on prevenative measures or counseling offenders back into a healthy lifestyle. Since drug addicition usually nucleates from some sort of sociological or physiological disparity. As for the war on drugs, it is a waste of time and money. The only people who benefit are the stock holders in correctional industries and our beloved policy makers. We have locked up a generation of people and they will eventually get out. SO what do we do, keep locking them up, what a waste.
  • by Chrissy Location: Paris on Dec 28, 2007 at 05:47 AM
    I agree with most of the posters here, the war on drugs is a waste of money. Putting people in jail for getting high is stupid as well as expensive. If you are doing hard drugs like meth and crack your days are numbered, you will die from them or somoeone will kill you for stealing to support your habit. As far as weed goes that is just like drinking in my opinion and not nearly a hard on you as alcohol. I believe it is time to pull the rug out from under ALL these drug task forces nationwide. Vote Republican!
  • by Chris on Dec 28, 2007 at 05:09 AM
    Zeke and Denny, actually I'm a doctor that deals with the other end of drug abuse. You can be sure that 1. I won't be losing my job because of this and 2. I make enough that I won't be doing any bootlegging either. Since I actually see the results of drug abuse on a daily basis, I know what sort of impact this will have on the lives of people. Also, it's odd that when I commented about crackheads, you two felt you needed to respond. I'll probably be seeing you soon boys.
  • by Bill on Dec 28, 2007 at 03:28 AM
    Thank God for small favors.The war on drugs has left most Kentuckyins afraid of the police and for good reason.They have become mean burtal and uncaring toward the people of our state.Fire them all.Protect our homes and familys from these storm troopers.
  • by Zeke Location: Olin on Dec 27, 2007 at 12:19 PM
    Them there "lawmen" may have to go back to bootleging or maybe they could get their EMT jobs back, they`s glory in that but no headbusting, huh Chris.
  • by denny Location: henry on Dec 27, 2007 at 05:39 AM
    well chris i guess your one of them cops going to lose thier job. I hope funding gets so tight they cut inmates lose, lay off state cops, wonderfule life.
  • by Chris on Dec 26, 2007 at 05:10 AM
    ...spoken like true crackheads.
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