County fight against drugs gets state funding boost
The fight against illegal drugs in Escambia County received a boost last week when the state awarded a new round of funding to the 21st Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force.
Alabama Governor Bob Riley announced the $210,000 award, which will be used to continue the battle against the illegal use and distribution of drugs in Escambia County.
The county commission will distribute the funds to the task force. Local matching funds of $70,000 have been committed to the project.
The task force is a multi-jurisdictional unit combining the efforts of the Escambia County District Attorney's Office, the Escambia County Sheriff's Department and the police departments of Atmore, Brewton, East Brewton and Flomaton.
In the past nine months, task force agents have initiated 109 drug cases.
The task force plans to devote much of its resources to combat the illegal use and distribution of prescription medication.
Agents say they also plan to initiate 200 drug cases and have a goal of getting a 90 percent conviction rate.
Riley awarded the grant from funds made available to the state through a program of the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs will administer the grant.
ADECA director John Harrison has notified Escambia County Commission Chairman Larry W. White that the grant has been approved.