Missouri Governor Jay Nixon says he wants to increase funding for regional drug task forces in Missouri.
The governor's budget plan would provide $3 million for drug task forces - a move he says is necessary because of a planned cut in federal spending.
The Northeast Missouri Drug Task Force says isn't aware yet of any budget cuts but Marion County Sheriff and chairman of the task force's board said any more cuts would mean jobs if it doesn't receive the state money to offset it.
"If funding is cut any more than it has been over the previous couple years, we're looking at layoffs instead of just cuts in vehicles or insurance or maintenance. Things of that nature," said Shinn. "We're cut to the bare bones as it is right now."
The task force says it has already stopped raises and asked all employees to pay for half of their insurance costs now because of cuts in recent years and it's had to scale back on vehicle maintenance as well.
Shinn says if the Task Force was not able to do as many drug busts then it either falls onto local law enforcement to do more than they do now. Shinn says he doesn't have the man power for and it would ultimately mean more drugs on the streets.
Shinn says the task force is in and out of his doors all the time, functioning alongside law enforcement.
"They are very vital to us as far as the Marion County Sheriff's Office goes. I know the local Palmyra Police Department and other counties in the area... They're an arm off of us," said Shinn.
Shinn says without the funding the governor is proposing - and if the task force does get additional cuts - it would mean lay-offs. And that, he says, could mean more drugs on the streets.
The task force says its budget, like many others, has been cut many times in recent years. It's meant a stop in raises, and higher costs to the employees for their benefits as well as foregoing needed maintenance.
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