Two drug task forces that focused on southeast Nebraska will have to disband due to the loss of federal funding.
The Southeast Agencies Drug Task Force, or SEADE, and the Rural Apprehension Task Force, or RAP, will be shutting down.
Beatrice Police Chief Bruce Lang, who heads up SEADE, says neither group got federal funding last year either and they were able to make due, however, that’s no longer the case.
“We reapplied and again, the RAP Task Force and us were both not funded again,” Chief Lang says. “We’ve expired all of our backup resources so, basically, our task force has to go away, same with the RAP Task Force.”
He says the local law enforcement agencies across a six-county area in southeast Nebraska will have to pick up their own drug investigations. Lang blames political posturing for losing the funding which was allotted through the Nebraska Crime Commission.
“We got in the crosshairs of a political fight between the state patrol the crime commission and us,” he says. “We never really got a straight answer on what was going on but somehow those task forces fell out of favor.”
The RAP Task Force covered areas around Fairbury, Wilber, Crete and Seward. SEADE had employed two investigators and a part-time assistant. The two investigators now go back to the local law enforcement agencies where they had worked as officers.
By Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice