Fayetteville cop headed to drug task force

Tue, 04/10/2007 - 4:19pm
By: Ben Nelms

It’s been a long time coming. It has been nearly a decade since Fayetteville had a presence on Fayette County Sheriff’s Drug Suppression Task Force. Those days ended April 5 with the appointment of a Fayetteville police officer.

“Drugs are and have been a serious problem. It was a goal for the mayor and council to look at putting somebody on some type of task force to address the narcotics within the city and any drug connection outside the city that impacts on our citizens,” said Chief Steve Heaton. “There is no reason why the police department should not be a part of enforcing and solving those types of crimes.”

In a March 19 memo, Heaton said he had discussed the agreement with the city attorney and city manager. “Although we would ultimately like to have a more detailed agreement, this agreement addresses the basic issues and is the same agreement that was used when the police department was a member of the Task Force in 1994,” Heaton said.

The proposed agreement is also the same agreement that is currently being used between the Sheriff’s Drug Task Force and Tyrone Police Department.

That agreement spells out the distribution of assets to the participating agencies.

The first 35 percent of all assets will be awarded to the Fayette County Sheriff’s Drug Suppression Task Force to provide funding of the day to day operations for the unit, the agreement states.

The remainder of assets to be used for law enforcement enhancement will be divided as follows: 70 percent to the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, 15 percent to Tyrone Police Department and 15 percent to the City of Fayetteville Police Department. Peachtree City does not participate on the task force.

A task force advisory board was also established under the agreement. The board will consist of chairman Sheriff Randall Johnson, Heaton and Tyrone Police Chief David Mullis.

The agreement also states that seized vehicles will subject to use by task force agents. If not placed in service or once retired from service, proceeds from vehicle sales will be split using the same percentages as other assets.

The move gives task force Commander Mike Pruitt another much needed agent. The approval by the council, Pruitt said, is timely and important.

“I’m glad to the this agreement come about,” Pruitt said. “I think it will benefit the citizens of Fayetteville and Fayette County.”

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