12th Circuit gets federal funds to fight drug related crimes

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

ENTERPRISE, AL (WSFA) - Drug related crimes aren't confined to big cities, small communities face the same problems.

And residents in Enterprise say, it's no longer a problem that lurks in the shadows.

Steve Cutts, Manager of "Wingin' It" in Enterprise says, he believes there is a drug problem in the area.  And Dianne Read, who works at a local gas station agrees.  She said, "It's increased particularly in my neighborhood."

Now, a new federal grant is helping authorities fight those crimes, by paying to have more manpower on the streets.

12 Circuit District Attorney Gary McAliley said, "The grant will go to the rural law enforcement agencies in this circuit, which is Pike and Coffee counties, to be used to hire drug investigators to fight drug crime.  It will also be used by this office to prosecute those crimes.

And the nearly $300,000 grant couldn't come at a better time.  Just this week, District Attorney McAliley found out the state is cutting funds to his office by more then $100,000.

Even though budgets are shrinking for local law enforcement, drug related crimes aren't.  In fact, communities most likely see a rise in crime in tough economic times.

McAliley said, "We see more murders, robberies, rapes, burglaries, and we have more people now selling drugs."

Residents say the news of the additional funds is promising.

Cutts says he likes the fact that more authorities will be on the roads.

Read says, "When drugs are in the community, it goes everywhere across the board, and it affects everyone.  So, this is exciting news."

News they hope makes their community one step closer to eradicating the problem.