DOJ decision could impact your pockets

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A federal decision to suspend a program may have an impact on local tax dollars.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced December 27 a decision to suspend the “Equitable Sharing Program,” which allows local law enforcement agencies to keep a portion of money seized during drug busts or other crimes. The decision followed Congress’ decision to cut more than $1 billion dollars from the Justice Department’s budget.

In the past, local agencies were able to keep 80 percent, which was spent on extra items for law agencies said New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon.

“We were able to be a little better of a Sheriff’s Office, as far as training, without having to put it on our communities,” McMahon said.

McMahon said money for new equipment and more training, must now be requested in the office’s budget.

In an e-mail, a Department of Justice spokesman said the department “continues to support state and local law enforcement through grants and hopes to bring back the program.”

“Assuming Congress does not act to further rescind money from the fund, the department will reinstate equitable sharing payments once sufficient funds are available to do so,” said Justice Department Spokesman Peter Carr.



Categories: Local, New Hanover

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