Grant awarded to help battle drugs in surrounding region

Published 10:03pm Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Fourth Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force, which serves Dallas, Hale, Bibb, Wilcox and Perry County, will be able to continue their fight against illegal drugs after the Dallas County Commission was awarded a $97,995 grant by Gov. Robert Bentley.

“We applied for [the grant],” District Attorney Michael Jackson said. “It’s for our Fourth Judicial Drug Task Force. This is the agency that works to eradicate gangs and drug dealers and people trafficking drugs and violent offenders — they work to eradicate that in the five county circuit.”

The task force conducts undercover operations, finds and dismantles dangerous methamphetamine laboratories, arrests and prosecutes drug offenders and assists with violent crime investigations.

“They do a lot of good work,” Jackson said. “They work with different agencies like the police department, sheriff department, the U.S. marshal’s office, AEF and DEA.”

Jackson said when they applied for the grant they stated everything the task force does and will do in hopes of receiving accurate funding.

“When we applied for it, we stated all the good work that [the task force] does, and apparently the agencies — Gov. Bentley, U.S. Sen. Shelby, and ADECA agreed that this agency is a very important agency for this area.”

“Illegal drugs endanger not only the users, but also their families and communities,” Bentley said. “The drug task force is working hard to protect our neighborhoods by putting drug traffickers out of business.”

Jackson said the grant money will be used for this fiscal year for things like equipment and salaries.

The task force includes a field director, two agents and an assistant distract attorney. Local matching funds of $32,665 have been committed to the task force.

“The [Fourth Judicial Drug Task Force] is an invaluable resource to the district attorney’s office and to the community,” Jackson said.

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