Poarch to aid task force

Published 1:47 pm Wednesday, October 29, 2008

By By Lisa Tindell – news editor
The 21st Judicial Drug Task Force is getting leg up from a neighbor in an effort to continue the war on drugs in Escambia County.
After funding cuts on the federal level earlier this year, DTF in Escambia County was forced to eliminate all but one investigating agent in the unit. With the support of the Poarch Creek Indians in Atmore, the unit will be growing.
Jackson said Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith approached PCI with a proposal to help with funding for the deeply cut program.
Jackson said by being a financial contributor, PCI was encouraged about the possibility of keeping the DTF services alive in the county.
PCI Police Chief Larry Hammonds will now be serving as a member of the board for DTF, Jackson said.
Federal funding for similar task force programs across the country has been cut.
County Commission Chairman David Stokes said the funds contributed by Poarch Creek Indians will have a positive effect on the ability to keep the DTF running and fighting the war on drugs.
Stokes said PCI had made the contribution to keep the DTF operational and had requested a few services in return.
Smith will be the head law enforcement official overseeing the DTF, Stokes said.
Smith said the contribution by PCI will make up the difference in funding lost through federal cuts recently.