During the Public Comment portion of the County Commissioner’s meeting last week, Prosecutor Nelson Chipman and Detective Jonathan Bryant with the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department discussed the need for funds to battel drugs in the county. 

Chipman said the Opioid Settlement Funds make it sound like the opioid problem is settled but he said they are still at war and they need funds to purchase the weapons needed to fight the battle effectively.

The Drug Task Force (DTF) had to stop during COVID and they are now back on the fight to stop drug sales in the county.  While the DTF was self-sufficient for years, they need help now. 

Detective Bryant said the cameras they are using are 6 years old and new technology can help them battle the war on drugs.  He said a “wish list” of covert equipment was created by the DTF and totaled $17,091.99. 

Prosecutor Chipman also discussed “buy” money used by the DTF while working cases.  He told the commissioners they typically spend about $26,000 a year.  “Buy” money isn’t like what you see on television when police make a buy using an undercover officer or confidential informant and as soon as the buy happens the police are there and confiscate the money.  In real life they can make several purchases before making the arrest.  It’s part of the process to get drug dealers behind bars.  Chipman said during the recent drug bust in Bourbon, they could have purchased $17,000 in just one buy. 

The County Commissioners were interested to know if they could use Opioid Settlement Funds to help fund the Drug Task Force. They also felt it was time to create a long-term solution of funding for the DTF and discussed putting funds in the commissioner’s or prosecutor’s budget in 2025 for them. 

After some discussion the commissioners recommended using American Rescue Plan funds for the equipment purchase and suggested allowing them up to $20,000. 

During Thursday’s County Council meeting the council approved the request for APR Funds for the Drug Task Force.