Western Kentucky counties cut from Pennyrile Narcotic Task Force

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Reporter - Elizabeth Fields
Photojournalist - Mason Watkins

FULTON COUNTY, Ky. - When Fulton County Sheriff Bobby Hopper went to Hopkinsville for the Pennyrile Narcotics Task Force meeting,he knew the budget was a big problem. What he didn't know was that he was going to be impacted as part of the solution.

"We just found out funding wasn't there and all the sudden we were out," he said. "Instead of someone assigned to work drugs all the time, there won't be."

Like the other Lake counties, Hoppers department is small and stretched thin. They don't have the resources to assign one person to tackle drug cases, but with the PNTF he didn't have to because there was another officer sent in to help. Now that officer has been transferred back east.

When it was created, the PNTF only covered the nine Pennyrile counties, but as it's funding and success grew, they expanded their coverage area. Now that they're working with $175,000 fewer dollars, the task force board decided to reduce their area again.

Graves County Sheriff Dewayne Redmon said he saw the writing on the walls and pulled out from the task force three months ago. He said he's been able to maintain an aggressive approach to drug crimes in his county by working with other sheriffs. He said working together now is more important than ever.

What were hoping to do is maybe start another task force that would help the smaller counties," he said.

He's planning a meeting next week with other sheriffs to talk about their options.

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