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Washoe County Medical Society

Commissioners Seek To Set Up Local Drug Task Force

Staff Report

June 12, 2018
Nevada Appeal

With the distribution of the state’s share of medical marijuana revenue, Churchill County Commissioners reconvened the topic and approved to support the Board of Health Strategies and body cameras for law enforcement with the funds on June 7.

The county collected $88,235 of funds and approved to proceed with New Frontier’s Adolescence Substance Abuse Prevention Program, as well as toward programs targeting pregnant women about the effects of marijuana and childbirth, and further education to youth about the substance.

The Churchill County Health Taskforce requested $50,260 for projects and $5,000 toward New Frontier’s program, while $32,000 is for law enforcement body cameras.

With that, Sheriff Ben Trotter also clarified on the county’s Drug Task Force, as Fallon Police Department and Churchill County Sheriff’s Office is developing its own.

Trotter said the Drug Task Force existed for about 30 years with four assigned officers from the state. But about two months ago, he said, the state advised Churchill’s Drug Task Force was being pulled to refocus the assess on state opioid enforcement.

Commissioner Pete Olsen said methamphetamine is more of a local concern compared to opioids. In response, Trotter said a local taskforce would better benefit the community as Churchill law enforcement agencies would focus on both aspects locally — and flexibility on operations at a lesser cost.

“Opioids are a huge problem but it doesn’t bring the side problems like meth does,” Trotter said. “Not many crimes are directed through opioids.”

Commissioners are also considering to writing a letter to the Gov. Brian Sandoval, as Drug Task Forces still exist in Ely and Winnemucca.

“It bothers me the state pulled task force funding from Churchill County,” said Commissioner Bus Scharmann. “There’s something that needs to be done to get the money restored at our level.”

Trotter said the launch of a local task force is to be announced; Commissioners and Trotter will meet next to discuss funding and grants to support this, and also consider enhancing a partnership with the Nevada Division of Investigation.

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