Iowa has 21 regional groups made up of law enforcement officials and a new report shows those “task forces” confiscated over 35-million dollars worth of illegal drugs during the 12-month period that started on July 1st, 2005. Most of the illegal drugs that’re injected, snorted, swallowed or smoked in Iowa are smuggled in and Iowa Drug Policy Coordinator Gary Kendell says unfortunately federal government funding for these regional drug-fighting groups has been on the decline.
“We still need to do more,” Kendell says. “For every pound of drugs that we take off the street, you know there’s more getting through.” Iowa cops and other law enforcement officials confiscated over 17-million dollars worth of meth during the 12-month period cited in the new report. Authorities seized 12-and-a-half million dollars worth of processed marijuana and marijuana plants, too.
“It should be a good reminder to people that we need to continue to be vigilant about it and continue to put resources into enforcement efforts such as this,” Kendell says. Twenty-nine of Iowa’s 99 counties are not covered by these regional “task forces” targeting drug dealers. Kendell and others hope this new report — and similiar reports in other states — will sway congress to beef up federal funding of these regional drug-fighting task forces.
Kendell says the goal is to get more federal funding so every county in the state is covered by a task force focusing on drug interdiction. The 2007 Iowa Legislature provided nearly one-and-a-half million in state tax dollars to help finance the drug-fighting efforts of the 21 groups.