City buys into region’s drug fighting force
By Michael Prochaska
Madison Mayor Bruce Gilbert signed off on an intergovernmental agreement Monday night for Madison to participate in an Ocmulgee Anti-Drug Task Force and submit a joint application for funding under the Control and System Improvement Formula Grant Program.
Since the early 1990s, Madison has been one of more than a dozen governing bodies engaged in a program that facilitates the investigation, arrest, prosecution and conviction of those involved in “the manufacture, use and distribution and sale of illicit drugs,” according to the contract.
In the 1990s, the task force was primarily used to combat street level drug sales, Assistant Chief of Police Carl Jones told the Morgan County Citizen.
“Through these years, we used the task force as a support agency to help implement these drug operations,” he said. “Now we’re trying to upgrade to suppliers.”
Jones said crack cocaine was the dominant drug throughout the 1990s but now there is a prevalence of other drugs, such as methamphetamine.
Assistance from the task force, Jones said, has led to hundreds of arrests.
“It’s changed the way we fight drugs,” he said.
Even though the City of Madison is required to pay $5,000 in matching funds, City Manager David Nunn said he and the Madison Chief of Police Travis Stapp would not have recommend it if it wasn’t good for the city.
“It’s well worth the price to have the state and GBI (Georgia Bureau of Investigation) helping,” he said.
“It brings expertise and manpower that we don’t have.”
Even though Madison is on board, Morgan County Sheriff Robert Markley said the county had not yet determined whether it would stay in the program.
That decision will be made in the coming months, he said.
Printed in the July 12, 2012 edition