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BRIGHTON – Gov. Bill Ritter’s on-again, off-again suggestion to pull money from the state’s Law Enforcement Assistance Fund is leaving police and sheriff’s departments in …
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BRIGHTON – Gov. Bill Ritter’s on-again, off-again suggestion to pull money from the state’s Law Enforcement Assistance Fund is leaving police and sheriff’s departments in limbo.
At first, the governor wanted to put $1 million from the fund into drug and alcohol treatment programs. The next day, Ritter said he wouldn’t for the balance of the year.
“We would have to know what changes were made before we could assess if it would any impact it may have on our agency,” Adams County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Candi Baker said. The sheriff’s department received $46,000 this year.
Brighton police received $35,000 for its LEAF budget. If Ritter’s plan remained in place, Brighton police would have lost a certain amount of money for its DUI program during the holidays.
“We were also told funding would be suspended for next year,” said Rich Kelly, assistant to Police Chief Clint Blackhurst. “The funding pays for overtime to pay officers to work on their days off to work at looking for DUIs. Without the LEAF funding, we cannot fund the overtime positions.”
Kelly said DUI enforcement would remain part of the on-duty officers’ workload.
“If we lose the DUI funding we lose the opportunity to provide additional DUI enforcement,” Kelly said. “So from our perspective we’re not cutting back, but we’re definitely losing the opportunity to find additional DUIs and provide that additional enforcement.”
LEAF funding comes from fines assessed to those convicted of driving under the influence. The Legislature set up the fund in 1983.
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