State Drug and Gang Task Forces at Risk

Britt Carlson (KHSLTV) | July 6, 2011

A critical law enforcement tool in California is at risk for closure.

All of the north state’s drug and gang task forces are in limbo because of a $71 million cut to the Division of Law Enforcement within the Attorney General’s Office.

Butte, Glenn and Shasta Counties all have these interagency task forces that are dedicated to keeping drug and gang-related crimes at bay.

But they’re all at risk of shutting down, which could have a major impact on public safety.

California’s first line of defense against drug cartels and gangs has taken a hit.

Chief of the Chico Police Department Mike Maloney says, “The one dedicated resource we have in Butte County that focuses on those higher level drug offenders is BINTF, and if we end up in a position where they’re gone, the impact will be profound.”

50 state drug and gang task forces had state funding eliminated in the current budget.

It calls for a $35 million reduction this fiscal year, totaling $71 million the next.

It could also result in the loss of $40 million in Federal funding.

Maloney adds, “If you combine the absence of those task forces with the impact of prison realignment that we’re about to experience, we’re looking for some difficult times public safety wise.”

And rural areas like the north state will feel the most significant impacts.

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