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Drug Task Force relocated to Butler County

By EASON FRANKLIN
The Lowndes Signal

The Drug Task Force (DTF) for Butler, Crenshaw and Lowndes Counties will no longer be operated by Lowndes County.

Butler County was recently selected to run the agency for the 2nd Judicial District, according to Lowndes County Commissioner Marzett Thomas.

For the past several years, Lowndes County had been selected to run the task force and, in turn, contributed a 50-percent match toward every grant awarded to the DTF for equipment, salaries etc., according to Lowndes County Sheriff Charlie “Chip“ Williams.

The other remaining 50-percent of funds were awarded through grants from the Alabama Department of Economic & Community Affairs (ADECA).

Starting in 2010, grants are awarded at 100-percent with no match required from the county that is selected to run the task force agency.

“Lowndes County will still have a Drug Task Force,” said Williams. “Only it will now be run out of Butler County.”

However, Lowndes County officials are seeking to keep any equipment previously bought by the county with matched funds for grants awarded stay within Lowndes County.

Lowndes County Commissioner Charlie King, Jr said he is working to ensure any and all DTF equipment purchased in-part by Lowndes County over the past several years would remain in the county for other law enforcement officials.

King noted the county will be reviewing itemized lists of the equipment partially purchased by Lowndes County for the DTF.

Williams said he wants to be sure any equipment strictly utilized by DTF agents remain with the DTF and will not be tied to any specific county.

“All the equipment last year was purchased through federal funds by ADECA,” said Williams. “That equipment stays with the Drug Task Force.”

Butler County Sheriff Kenny Harden could not be reached for comment.