Continual Cuts To Violent Crime And Drug Task Force Grant Money


By Sarah Cantey

 Drugs and crime go hand in hand and aren't bound by county or city lines. That's why task forces are set up to have representatives from multiple agencies work together to fight violent crime and drugs. 

But officials in Pike County say over the past several years that funding for the task force has dwindled by more than half. Recently Pike County commissioners voted to seek renewal of a $50,000 grant for their task force. That money is split between Pike and Coffee counties. 
Officials say 20 years ago they receiving nearly a quarter million dollars in federal funding divided up through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. Pike County leaders say larger cities get more funding than the rural counties. But some residents say the task force is just as needed in their area. 
Barbara Shipman, aunt of Melissa Shipman- murdered in 2012 said, "When you feel like you are just have no way out of it or no way to figure out what went on, with your relative or whoever is involved in a crime, law enforcement I mean that is what we can depend on. And that is the most important thing, is having the support of the law enforcement when it comes to crime."
It's not just law enforcement and the task forces needed to solve crime. Agents say the community is one of their top resources in gathering information.
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