GRAMNET request under review
Wiggins asks county to approve DA funding of drug task force
If you go
What: Routt County Board of Commissioners review GRAMNET funding request
When: 11:30 a.m. today
Where: Routt County Courthouse Annex, 136 Sixth St.
Steamboat Springs — Officials with the Greater Routt and Moffat Narcotics Enforcement Team and the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office are asking the county today to approve a request that would allow the DA’s Office to contribute $10,800 to the regional drug task force’s operating budget.
Drug task force commander Garrett Wiggins said the DA’s Office has historically contributed money to the task force. Last year, the DA’s Office contribution was routed through the Routt County Sheriff’s Office to consolidate the county’s funding of the task force.
Because Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall has decided that the Sheriff’s Office will not fund GRAMNET, the organization would not receive the $10,800 without the county’s permission.
Without the Sheriff’s Office, GRAMNET is being staffed by an officer from the Steamboat Springs and Craig police departments and the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office. The Hayden Police Department and Jackson County also made contributions to GRAMNET’s 2007 budget. Including a federal grant, the budget is about $360,300.
Wall said he will attend today’s meeting to oppose the request.
“I’m not in favor of spending any county tax-payer money on that outfit for the reasons I’ve already stated,” he said Monday. “I don’t care whose budget it comes out of. I’m opposed to that.”
In February, Wall announced that the Sheriff’s Office would no longer contribute money or an officer to staff the task force, questioning GRAMNET’s effectiveness and tactics used by officers. He said members of the task force have violated the civil liberties of suspects.
During a meeting in February, Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James said Wall’s claims were unfounded and spoke in favor of the agency’s work.
“I am asking that those funds get re-routed through the DA’s Office so the DA can continue to fund GRAMNET,” Wiggins said.
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