Monday, May 16, 2005

More Texas drug task forces going under

The Houston Chronicle reports that more Texas task forces are collapsing under their own weight. In addition to the Harris County task force folding, as Grits mentioned recently,
Other multijurisdictional task forces also will disband: the 35-member Jefferson County Narcotics Task Force that covers Jefferson, Orange and Hardin counties; the 10-member Westside Narcotics Task Force that covers Waller, Austin and Colorado counties; and the eight-member Independent Narcotics Task Force that covers Washington and Burleson counties.
Naturally, the task force cops think they're hard done by: "'There were some loose cannons with shady practices, but that should not put a bad name on all of us,' said [Roger] Clifford, the coordinator of the Harris County task force."

No, your task force's
bad name should stem from its own problems, and those of its host agency, the Baytown Police Department. Still, it's interesting to me that the task force commander's perception is that President Bush's Byrne grant budget cuts are a response to high-profile drug task force scandals. He may be right.

There's also a sidebar detailing annual amounts of Byrne grant funding in Texas since the program's inception:


Federal Byrne grants for multijurisdictional task forces in Texas:

1987: $10.6 million
1988: $2.3 million
1989: $6.5 million
1990: $23.9 million
1991: $25.6 million
1992: $25.5 million
1993: $25.7 million
1994: $21.9 million
1995: $27.9 million
1996: $29.6 million
1997: $31.3 million
1998: $32.1 million
1999: $32.4 million
2000: $31.6 million
2001: $31.7 million
2002: $31.8 million
2003: $32.2 million
2004: $31.6 million
2005: $22.7 million
2006: Proposed $0

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