South Georgia Drug Task Force Says It Expects Cuts In July

By: Ann Mercogliano Email
By: Ann Mercogliano Email


Back in December, Congress approved a cut to the Byrne/JAG
program. That program funds 75 percent of the South Georgia Drug Task Force. The cuts are expected to go into effect in July and the task force says it's bracing for the worst.

Kevin Lumley moved to Lanier County with his wife and children from Plant City, Florida about a year ago. He says he moved to get away from a drug and gang problem there. He's seen drug activity since he's moved here to Lanier County, but says it seems to be decreasing.

"When we first moved up here, we noticed a lot of drugs, actually right across the street from us, we actually, when we first moved up here, we'd actually see drug deals go down," says Lumley.

Lanier County Sheriff Nick Norton says his county as well as 5 others in Georgia depend on the task force to control the local drug problem. He says drugs are more likely to be found in these rural areas and the cuts could make that problem worse.

"Working with South Georgia drug Task Force, we've been able to take $2,758,256 worth of street level drugs off of our streets, says Sheriff Norton.

"Crack, cocaine, and marijuana are especially popular in our area and we've also seen a great resurgence in prescription drug abuse and prescription drug sales," says Jamy Steinberg of the South Georgia Drug Task Force.

Lanier County resident Kevin Lumley says he doesn't want to see any cuts, he just opened up a new restaurant in Lakeland and says he's looking forward to his new life here.

"We moved here to get away from that problem and we wouldn't want that problem to follow us here," says Kevin Lumley.

The South Georgia Drug Task Force, believe it or not, is made up of four people, if the cuts go through as expected, there will most likely be staff cuts and a decrease in pay.

The drug task force says there's always the chance that Congress will restore the grant money and they're waiting everyday for that news.


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