Sheriff#8217;s office receives grants

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 29, 2005

Lawrence County is getting more money to combat drug trafficking and is getting a grant as well to aid its crime prevention activities.

The Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services, a division of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, has awarded the Lawrence County Drug and Major Crimes Task Force a $75,000 grant to help pay for drug eradication.

“In years past, we’ve gotten $54,000 grants. Every year we’ve asked for more money and we haven’t gotten it, but they’ve changed their funding mechanism and we’ve been able to get more money starting in 2006,” said Lawrence County Sheriff Tim Sexton, who serves as the director for the drug task force.

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“It will help us as far as funding personnel for investigations and to offset training costs.”

The additional $21,000 the task force will get in its 2006 allotment will pay for at least 1,200 investigating hours in the local war on drugs.

Lawrence County has recieved this grant since 1998. The Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office is the implementing agency while Sexton serves as its director and Dave Marcum, with the prosecutor’s office, serves as its coordinator. Sexton is quick to credit Marcum with much of the success of the effort.

“He has done a tremendous job; with it. He puts a lot of time and effort into it. It’s not an easy job, it’s a dangerous job,” Sexton said.

Also, the sheriff’s office has recieved a $27,551 crime prevention grant from the Office of Criminal Justice Services. Sexton said this grant will pay for a crime prevention officer, whose duties will include public education programs. Sexton said he hopes to specifically target and reduce the burglaries throughout the county. In the last four years, the number of burglaries has fluctuated between a low of 137 cases in 2004 to a high of 195 in 2003.

“Hopefully, we can increase public education and public participation in crime prevention programs. The more we can educate people, the more eyes and ears the sheriff’s office has out in the community,” Sexton said. “I think it’s a wonderful program for the county and I’m pleased we got it.”

Sexton said the officer who will assume these duties has not been selected. Both grants require a 25-percent local match.