Grant gives boost to war on drugsPublished 3:32pm Tuesday, November 29, 2011
The Second Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force’s bank account got a sizeable boost on Monday.
Gov. Robert Bentley awarded the Butler County Commission $95,000 in grant money to be used for the Second Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force, which is charged with combating illegal drugs and drug-related violent crimes in Butler, Crenshaw and Lowndes Counties.
The task force conducts undercover operations to arrest and prosecute drug offenders, find and dismantle dangerous methamphetamine laboratories and assist with other violent crime investigations – all of which cost money that a cash-strapped county like ours would have a hard time coming up with on its own.
In all, Gov. Bentley awarded $422,700 to seven counties across the southeastern portion of the state.
In our opinion, that’s money well spent.
We can choose to turn a blind eye to the problem, but the reality is that drugs threaten our children, our businesses and our future and if we ignore the problem, they will destroy us.
Some statistics suggest that there are 221,939 marijuana users, 36,369 cocaine addicts, and 2,060 heroin addicts living in Alabama. It is also estimated that there are 97,191 people abusing prescription drugs, 9,271 people that use inhalants, and 16,505 people who use hallucinogens.
Obviously, drugs are a real problem across our state.
Butler County is certainly no different.
According to a reports released from the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center, 31 Butler County adults were arrested for the selling drugs in 2010. Another 23 were arrested for possession of an illegal drug. One juvenile was also arrested for possession of an illegal drug.
In Crenshaw County, part of the Second Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force’s jurisdiction, three adults were arrested for the selling drugs, while six were arrested for possession of an illegal drug.
We applaud Gov. Bentley, the U.S. Justice Department and our local leaders, who have committed $31,666 to the task force, for recognizing the need to aggressively deal with this growing problem in our community.
The Governor said that we “must remain aggressive in our battle against illegal drugs.” We agree. We’d also suggest that the battle is far from over.