|District Attorney, Sheriff Ask Legislators for Funding to
Establish Dedicated Joint Drug Task Force in Lewis County
requesting Lewis County legislators to provide funding for two part-time
investigators to establish a dedicated Joint Drug Task Force in the county.
One of the positions would be through the Sheriff's office, while the other would
be through the District Attorney's office.
The request was first presented to the legislative Courts and Law committee
during their June 14 meeting.
Sheriff Michael Carpinelli and District Attorney Leanne Moser both provided
committee members with an assessment of the current drug situation in the
county. Both indicated that guns are becoming more prevalent with the drug
population, with gang activity also increasing in neighboring counties. The Sheriff
and DA insisted that a proactive approach needs to be taken to avoid further
penetration of these elements into our communities.
"What we've cracked open so far makes us worried," the Sheriff told the
committee in June.
The committee asked that a rough annual budget for the task force to be
provided before moving forward with any decision. This was presented at the
July 12 meeting of the committee.
The task force would initially run on a budget of around $74,800 annually.
Prior to yesterday's meeting of the full board, DA Moser made a presentation to
lawmakers, requesting they approve funding the task force through the
remainder of this year, in addition to including in next year's budget.
No action was taken by the board at yesterday's meeting.
In 2017, Lewis County had the highest per capita rate of opioid overdose deaths
in New York State, according to preliminary data from the NYS Department of
Health. In addition, Lewis County tied for second in New York State, with Oneida
County, for the total number of meth-lab busts, trailing only Jefferson County.
County Manager Ryan Piche noted during the June committee meeting the
personnel additions during the past year of 4 correction officers, 3 dispatchers a
FT investigator and PT Assistant District Attorney. There have not been any
personnel additions to any other County department.
Full video of the District Attorney's presentation yesterday is included below: