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Lancaster County Drug Task Force Needs Steady Funding


LANCASTER – The Lancaster County Drug Task Force is facing a funding crisis. District Attorney Craig Stedman is asking the county to address the long-term lack of reliable funding, citing the ongoing opioid epidemic, and a developing meth epidemic which threatens every Lancaster County town. Stedman asked the Board of Commissioners at an Oct. 31 budget meeting to provide a more stable funding stream for the Task Force, which has operated since 1988. The Task Force is a team of detectives that uses undercover and surveillance tactics to combat drug trafficking across the county, conducting search operations, and filing criminal charges. The team operates largely on assets and funds gained in forfeitures and voluntary contributions from municipalities. The state Attorney General provides some funds, but it’s voluntary, and has decreased significantly over the years. The county pays only about 15% of operating costs. Even if all municipalities contributed in full, current funding would still fall short. At the meeting, the county was told the Task Force would not be sustainable by 2020. Stedman hopes county commissioners will commit to a permanent funding solution.

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