Riley awards $145,000 to DTF

Published 1:24 pm Monday, November 13, 2006

By Staff
Special to the Advance
Escambia County law enforcement agencies are gearing up to put drug dealers behind bars and respond to natural disasters more effectively with the help of two grants awarded by Gov. Bob Riley.
The 21st Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force will use a $145,000 grant to continue investigating, arresting and prosecuting drug offenders throughout Escambia County.
A $100,000 grant will be used by the Escambia County Sheriff's Office to purchase equipment that will enable its Disaster Preparedness Task Force to respond more effectively in the wake of hurricanes and other disasters.
"Public safety is one of the essential functions of government and I commend Escambia County officials for working to make their residents safer," Riley said. "These grants will help take drug dealers off the streets and save lives during natural disasters."
The drug task force combines the resources of the district attorney's office, the county sheriff's department and the police departments of Atmore, Brewton, East Brewton and Flomaton. Working with other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, the unit disrupts drug organizations operating in the county, coordinates data and information sharing about drug activities among the agencies and prosecutes sellers and users of drugs.
The disaster task force will purchase four generators, two to power emergency operations centers and two that will keep radio repeaters powered during outages, and a portable light source that can be used during search and rescue missions or to light up a major intersection that has gone dark.
Riley notified Escambia County Commission Chairman David M. Stokes that the grants had been approved. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs will administer the grants from funds made available to the state by the U.S. Department of Justice. Matching funds of $27,222 will supplement the awards.

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