Monday, May 19, 2008

California may follow Texas shutting down drug task forces

With large cuts proposed at the federal level and a state spending crisis, in California a state Senate subcommittee last week approved a plan to eliminate funding for that state's system of regional narcotics task forces. According to The Daily Triplicate (May 16):

Included in this half-billion-dollar decision is all money for a rural law enforcement program that gives $500,000 a year to each of California's 37 sparsely populated counties, as well as $29 million to combat methamphetamine.

"It's not just a drop in the bucket," [Del Norte County Sheriff] Wilson said. "This money really becomes critical for small departments like ours."

He said the $500,000 Rural Sheriff's Grant makes up a large portion of his office's funds.

When Governor Rick Perry shut down Texas' system of drug task forces in 2006, we heard similar cries that the move would cripple law enforcement. That hasn't come to pass, though (in some places enforcement actually improved), because the task forces focused more on arresting users than pursuing "big fish." I'm willing to bet California could get by just fine without them, too.

1 comment:

kaptinemo said...

The DrugWar could never pay for itself, despite what all the glowing rhetoric about ‘hitting the dealers where they hurt’ with civil forfeiture was supposed to accomplish. Like the vast majority of governmental expenditures these days, it’s still being run with foreign-borrowed money. Of which the majority is needed to keep infrastructure and defense going.

The financial screws are tightening in the US, the hands turning them belonging to people whose geopolitics don’t include the US except as a debtor nation, and it won’t be long before we either face the facts and buckle down, or keep spending obscene amounts on ‘rich man’s hobbies’ like this DrugWar until we face economic Armageddon. Either way, the DrugWar is slated for a big pull-down - it’s just too expensive, anymore…