State’s drug task force officers officially sworn in

By JENNIFER COHRON, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 1/12/18

Members of the Alabama Drug Enforcement Task Force were sworn in Thursday in Montgomery.

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State’s drug task force officers officially sworn in


Members of the Alabama Drug Enforcement Task Force were sworn in Thursday in Montgomery.

Walker County has three members on the new task force — two from the Jasper Police Department and one from the Cordova Police Department. JPD Assistant Chief Paul Tucker represented his department and Chief Nick Smith represented his department at the ceremony, which was held in the Capitol auditorium.

Kenneth Boswell, director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, and Hal Taylor, secretary of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, presented credentials to nearly 100 officers from more than 40 law enforcement agencies around the state that make up the task force.

Gov. Kay Ivey announced in November that the task force had been established with $1.3 million in grants being administered by ADECA. The funds are to be used to offset overtime for officers as well as pay for travel and training for agents, operational expenses and equipment.

The task force allows agencies at the state and local level to share resources as they seek to curb the use, manufacture and sale of drugs.

Boswell told those in attendance that the federal government is interested in using the task force as a pilot program.

“In a day and age where we have shrinking dollars coming into our state, we hope that you as individuals as well as a collective group will help us be able to bring more dollars into the state to watch this task force grow,” Boswell said.

Taylor announced during the ceremony that task force members have filed nearly 100 charges and worked on approximately 175 cases since November.

He added that the work of the task force will have wide-ranging benefits, including complementing the work of the Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council created by Ivey in August.

“It’s not just drugs. You’ll take murderers off the streets. You’ll take guns off the streets. What this task force will do will be so good for the state,” Taylor said.