Taylor Cooper’s article on June 12 reported that further budget cuts were made by the County Commission “to the sheriff’s office to the tune of $172,000 to discourage Sheriff Neal Jump from continuing to operate what county commissioners called a drug enforcement squad at a previous meeting. Commissioners took the sheriff — who was not present at the June 3 meeting — to task, saying the county police department already operates a drug squad and that Jump was duplicating public services.”

Mr. Browning and the Commissioners need to do their homework. The Drug Task Force to which the sheriff contributes to does not duplicate work of the county police department. But for this task force, significant drug trafficking cases would not be made.

By and large, the overtime costs associated with this task force are paid with federal funds, not by Glynn County. Moreover, the cases made by this group have resulted in forfeiture of drug money resulting in between $200,000 and $300,000 being paid over to the sheriff, with more to come. These funds cannot be used to offset the sheriff’s budget, or for payroll, but are available for training and purchasing equipment for the Sheriff’s Department, which otherwise would have to be paid for by the citizens of Glynn County.

The commissioners need to compare the track record of this task force with that of the Glynn County Police Department’s scandalous drug squad. The $172,000 removed from the sheriff’s budget must to be restored.

Doug Alexander

St. Simons Island

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