Ivey awards $1.3 million for new statewide drug task force

Published 5:41 pm Thursday, November 9, 2017

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Special to the Signal

Governor Kay Ivey has awarded grants totaling $1.3 million to establish a new drug task force that will operate throughout the state in cooperation with local and state law enforcement agencies.

She announced on Thursday, Nov. 2 that each of seven regional offices that make up the task force are receiving a $193,235 grant.

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The regional office, administering agency and counties it covers, including Lowndes, is the Chambers County Commission for Autauga, Bullock, Chambers, Chilton, Coosa, Elmore, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Montgomery, Russell and Tallapoosa counties.

The Alabama Drug Enforcement Task Force will operate alongside 25 narcotics agents from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency forming seven regional multijurisdictional offices. These units will share resources with a unified goal of reducing the impact of drugs and dismantling drug organizations in Alabama.

“The illegal manufacturing, trafficking and sale of narcotics in Alabama is a problem for every part of the state and should be dealt with accordingly,” Ivey said. “Through combined efforts and statewide cooperation, this new task force will allow local police, sheriff’s offices and district attorneys to work together with state police and investigators to remove more of this dangerous element from our communities.”

The grant funds will help provide overtime for officers, pay for travel and training for agents, operational expenses and needed equipment. The total task force will comprise more than 90 officers from more than 40 agencies.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Justice. ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, infrastructure upgrades, recreation, energy conservation, water resources management, job training and career development.

“I share Gov. Ivey’s commitment to combating the illegal drug trade in our state and am glad to lend ADECA’s support in establishing this new task force,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “I commend the participating law enforcement agencies for their commitment and hard work to make Alabama a safer place to live and work.”

The other regional offices, administering agency and counties they cover include:

City of Atmore: Baldwin, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Escambia, Mobile, Monroe and Washington counties.

Butler County Commission: Barbour, Butler, Coffee, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston and Pike counites.

Marengo County Commission: Bibb, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Marengo, Perry, Pickens, Sumter, Tuscaloosa and Wilcox counties.

Chambers County Commission: Autauga, Bullock, Chambers, Chilton, Coosa, Elmore, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Montgomery, Russell and Tallapoosa counties.

Winston County Commission: Colbert, Fayette, Franklin, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Marion, Walker and Winston counties.

City of Cullman: Blount, Cherokee, Cullman, Dekalb, Etowah, Jackson, Limestone, Madison, Marshall and Morgan counties.

Randolph County Commission: Calhoun, Clay, Cleburne, Jefferson, Randolph, Shelby, St. Clair and Talladega counties.