If the Brazos Valley Narcotics Task force disbands, the big losers could be the smaller counties in our area. Burleson, Grimes, and Madison counties are all involved in the multi-county force, and each will have to absorb the workload of the task force if it comes to an end
Madison County Sheriff Dan Douget is already bracing for what could happen. He says his hands are tied. "Now that it's fixing to close I don't know what I'm going to do," Douget said.
Madison County has been a part of the Brazos Valley Narcotics Task Force for several years. All drug issues are turned over to the force and the sheriff's office assists only when needed. But now that the force's future is bleak, the community is bracing for what could happen.
Madison County has one officer on the task force and if the team is disbanded that officer will be without a job. The county will then have a larger workload for a limited staff.
"Bryan, College Station problems are Brazos County's problems and vice versus," Douget said. "Here we just have the sheriff's office and the city police department, so it's going to strain us."
Madison County isn't alone. Burleson and Grimes counties would be stretched as well. If the task force ends, all narcotic issues will be handled by regular staff, meaning more time and effort with less people. The sheriff's office in each county say it would be hard, but say this doesn't mean they'll stop combating the problem.
"We're going to be out there doing as much as we can in conjunction with the city police here," Douget said. "So they need not feel safe in doing what they want to eventually we will catch them."
A message law enforcement agencies want criminals to understand. They'll continue to fight the ever growing problem.
One county is already dealing with the loss of a narcotics task force.
Last year, the Walker County unit was disbanded due to money.
But according to the the Walker County Sheriff's office, the number of arrests have stayed about the same.
However, they say taking up the slack has created some challenges.
Local law enforcement has tried to take over the workload, but with fewer resources.