Pubdate: Mon, 27 Dec 2004
Source: Watertown Daily Times (NY)
Copyright: 2004 Watertown Daily Times
Author: Lee Monnet


The Editor was quite correct in his assessment of the current drug law
enforcement situation in NNY.  In his editorial "Use Reasonable Force"
he makes two excellent points. One, that multi agencies are used to do
the job that state police or sheriffs could easily handle and two,
that law enforcement officers are using heavy handed tactics enforcing
drug laws.

As a resident of St. Lawrence County I am aware of the escalating use
of federal law-enforcement officers (border patrol, and US customs) in
what should be local law enforcement jurisdiction. Not only is this
type of enforcement heavy handed, it is down right expensive to taxpayers.

At first glance one might think this is an example of over-policing
but if you look a little deeper I think asset forfeiture comes into
play. The agencies which participate in the raid will profit from a
portion of the proceeds which are seized from the defendant.

What business did Ogdensburg, Massena, and Gouverneur police depts.
have on this raid? Money. The sad thing is that taxpayers lose out
again as the seized assets go to the different agencies in addition to
the money they receive from their annual budgets.

While I agree with the Editors call for appropriate force, I feel our
current drug policies must be given closer scrutiny as Northern New
Yorkers bear the burden of over-policing in terms of taxes and civil

Lee Monnet

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