Sessions holds meeting with law enforcement

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 9, 2004

Law enforcement officers from around the state got a vote of confidence when Sen. Jeff Sessions visited Greenville to get feedback.

Sessions met with the officers for the purpose of hearing their suggestions and the problems they may have.

Funding and its direct effect on drug enforcement were the biggest concern for all parties.

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As funding to law enforcement throughout the state is cut the war on drugs becomes a losing battle.

Butler County Sheriff Diane Harris said the meeting gave everyone a chance to see where law enforcement stood and what could be done to help.

&uot;We mostly talked about grants that were available to agencies to go toward fighting drugs, domestic violence and met labs,&uot; said Harris. &uot;We talked about the whole nine yards.&uot;

Sessions said the ability to meet with those who fight drugs helps him to understand what he can do to help.

Sessions said throughout his career he has always tried to stay in tune to what was happening on the streets.

&uot;I really think it is important to meet with law enforcement officers and get feedback,&uot; said Sessions. &uot;I was a prosecutor for 15 years and I kept up with what was happening pretty well. Now I have to work harder at it and I want to know from police officers and narcotics agents who are making arrests and seizing meth labs what is going on.&uot;

Sessions said by getting the details from these officers he has more input toward establishing favorable legislation and eliminating harmful cuts.

&uot;It really helps me when legislation moves forward,&uot; said Sessions. &uot;Maybe I can amend it, make it better or offer legislation that will help.&uot;

Sessions praised the law enforcement of Greenville and Butler County and said he had great admiration for the leadership.

&uot;It was really good to be with Sheriff Harris who really does a great job here,&uot; said Sessions. &uot;I have tremendous respect for her integrity and ability.&uot;

Harris returned praise saying Sessions had always been a strong supporter of Alabama law enforcement.

&uot;The Senator has always been kind to law enforcement,&uot; said Harris. &uot;He does anything he can to help and he has always been available.&uot;

Greenville Police Chief Lonzo Ingram echoed Harris’ sentiments.

&uot;He really lets us know he supports us and he has the same thoughts we have,&uot; said Ingram. &uot;He certainly supports us. He has always been a friend to law enforcement and we expect him to be our friend as long as he is in office.&uot;

Ingram said all officers in attendance were concerned about funding.

&uot;We’re all concerned about the burned grant money,&uot; said Ingram. &uot;That is very important along with the funding for the drug task force.&uot;

Ingram said Sessions help would be imperative to keeping programs alive and well in Alabama.

Sessions said it was his duty to law enforcement and the community to do his best to keep communities safe.

&uot;People have a right to know they will be safe in their homes and schools,&uot; said Sessions. &uot;We just need to have adequate funding.&uot;