Federal budget cuts affecting local drug task forces

By: Mystic Matthews Email
By: Mystic Matthews Email

DURANT, Okla. -- A major cut in funding for criminal justice programs nationwide could affect the community you live in. The cut in funding means many drug officers will have to be taken off the streets. Mystic Matthews has more on how this could affect all of us.

Everyday, drug task force officers hit the streets, working to prevent drug related crimes, but since congress approved a 67% funding cut, investigators in Bryan, Coal and Atoka Counties say they are worried they will not have the money to operate.

Just last month, Congress voted to cut funding for all district attorney's drug task forces from just over $4 million down to a little over $1 million a year. The cut will go into effect July 1st.

For district 19, which includes Atoka, Coal and Bryan Counties, that means out of the four officers working the drug beat only one will remain solely because he is paid by the city police not with federal money.

David Cathey, an investigator at the District Attorney's Office in District 19 says this basically puts their drug officers out of business and the community at risk.

"Our drug task force will cease to exist at the end of this fiscal year unless some alternate funding becomes available for them," said Cathey.

The District Attorney's Office says in order to keep these task forces going citizens should call their Congressman to voice their concerns.

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  • by john Location: me on Jan 26, 2008 at 07:02 AM
    most people in America are too stupid to understand that drug crime is actually a product of prohibition itself not drug use. Why are nicotine addicts not burglarizing house to buy tobbacco?? Why are tobbacco dealers not killing each other on the streets to resolve there business disputes?? Thank god we are cutting this money. Cut it all, the only effect it has is that it makes dumb people feel safer. This was supposed to be the land of the free and it has become the land of do what you are told because the government says its good for you.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 25, 2008 at 11:27 AM
    My Dad is apart of District 19 Drug Task Force, he puts his life on the line everytime he steps foot out of the house to keep the community safe. It's horrible what they are trying to do. I mean think about it, do you really want a "drugy" running around you neighborhood? Around your kids?! Be for real... And YES there is a point of having a Drug Task Force, whether you think so or not, THEY DO GET CAUGHT, THEY DO GET PUT BEHIND BARS.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 6, 2008 at 02:18 PM
    Herb: The average user is not a "normal person". These addicts make a very conscious decision to use this crap without any regard of the consequences to their health,their children, or their community. Normal People don't make these irrational decisions. Because of their irresposible actions, we as law abiding/sober citizens pay the price of their trials, rehabilitation, and incarceration. One can assume that your reference to the plant that grows from the earth is marijuana. Well also grown from the earth are the mushrooms that produce hallucinations,the mold sometimes found on bread that produces L.S.D.,several organic items that when ingested become fatal, etc........etc. This does not justify it's use. And, bye-the-way, I have been the victim of a theft/burglary and guess what: they damaged/stole my property to purchase drugs. I have no compassion for either the users/manufacturers/dealers of this poison.
  • by Herb on Jan 5, 2008 at 07:33 AM
    what about the war the government is waging on its own citizens? the Gestapo like tactics of the drug task force has ruined more lives than the war in Iraq ever will. the average user is nothing more than a normal human being that has been criminalized by these ridiculous laws that state its illegal to own a plant that grew from the earth. The police need to focus their attention on more serious crimes, such as theft and burglaries. Ever had something stolen and watched the police do nothing? I have.
  • by Jennifer Location: Durant on Jan 4, 2008 at 07:21 PM
    To Sam from Mead: The task force arrest people. It is up to the courts to sentence that person. Our task force makes a large amount of the drug arrests in the county and without them there will be many more crackheads running around because they won't be afraid of getting arrested. If you think it is better not to have the task force you are crazy.
  • by Mom Location: Oklahoma on Jan 4, 2008 at 04:49 PM
    Maybe if we were not funding this war we could afford a drug task force. We are sending all of our money to Iraq when we need to be spending it right here at home.
  • by Sam Location: Mead on Jan 4, 2008 at 03:02 PM
    So what good is a drug task force? Why waste time Catching the druggie and then turning them loose? Of course as long as they pay the right people, they don't even get caught. Kinda like the bootlegging days not too many years back.
  • by Jennifer Location: Durant on Jan 4, 2008 at 10:07 AM
    This is really sad. Right now with the drug task force, there is still way too many crackheads running the streets. They make many arrests and do a good job but the meth problem is so bad!! I can't imagine what Bryan Co. will be like with no drug task force. Also, what will the officers do for jobs now?
  • by TX Location: Texas on Jan 4, 2008 at 10:04 AM
    Make sure the drug dealers know of the cut backs.
  • by whitewright Location: grayson on Jan 4, 2008 at 07:16 AM
    SEE ! CRIME DOES PAY-(AT THE TOP, not at the average Joe level to the bottom.)
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