OREGON COUNTY -- Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson announced last week that funding for the U.S. Office of Justice Programs was approved with her support in the House Appropriations Committee.
Emerson said the bill identifies four 8h District projects to receive funding, although specific amounts will not be determined until later this year. Emerson represents the 8th Congressional District which includes Oregon County.
The projects funded are the Farmington Children's Home, the Mineral Area Drug Task Force, the South Central Drug Task Force (which includes Oregon County), and the Southeast Missouri Drug Task Force. Oregon County Sheriff Tim Ward said the South Central Drug Task Force is comprised of Oregon, Wright, Douglas, Ozark, Texas, Howell, Reynolds, Shannon, Carter, Crawford, Phelps, Dent and Ripley counties in southern Missouri. The sheriff said the task force is made up of officers from the Missouri Highway Patrol, sheriffs, departments, city police officers and U.S. Forest Service officers.
"The task force assists our department a lot. And they provide us with access to equipment and officers that otherwise we wouldn't have to work with. Anytime we call them with information they follow up on the activity," Sheriff Ward said,
"I look at these programs and see real priorities for our region. Methamphetamine is a severe problem in our area, and I want to be sure our efforts to find, arrest, and prosecute manufacturers and sellers are successful," Emerson said.
"Funding for the task forces reduces the incidences of crime in our communities, keeps drugs away from children, and improves the safety of our public lands and the Mark Twain National Forest," she said.
Emerson also mentioned the Farmington Children's Home saying it to was important in her Congressional district because of the service it provides.