Pubdate: Sun, 16 Mar 2008
Source: Birmingham News, The (AL)
Copyright: 2008 The Birmingham News
Author: Loretta Nall


In response to "Nearly 300 arrested in statewide drug sweep" (March 7,
The News), I found a number of things very disturbing.

In January, Birmingham Police Sgt. Jim Henderson, vice president of
the Alabama Narcotics Officers Association, protested the federal
government's cuts to his budget on The News' editorial page, claiming
the cuts would make drug task forces ineffective. When have they ever
been effective?

Every year, the number of drug arrests and the amount of drugs seized
rise. If the tactics employed by Henderson and other drug warriors
were working, shouldn't those numbers be going down?

The March 7 article seemed to imply that execution of warrants was
delayed in order to create a big media scene, even though the cops
knew there were children living in meth labs. I guess the safety and
well-being of children are only important when they can be used as
ransom in exchange for a government welfare check.

Drug task forces are equivalent to people who abuse the welfare
system. Instead of doing real police work on serious crimes like
murder, rape, child-sex assault, robbery and vehicle theft, they focus
on rounding up low-level, nonviolent drug users because it's easy. And
they get a government welfare check for doing so.

The Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center reports that crime
clearance rates for 2005 were 19 percent. The drug warrior welfare
cuts should be looked on as a good thing. Perhaps now, police will get
to work on solving real crimes.

Loretta Nall

Alexander City
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