MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga.—State and local drug enforcement partnerships, heavily reliant on federal grants that have been shrinking for years, were teetering on the brink of extinction even before the recent round of automatic spending cuts known as the sequester. Now the latest cuts are threatening to push them over the cliff.
A prime example is the Ocmulgee drug task force based here in this small town of about 17,000. Supported by the Byrne justice assistance grant program, the regional task force budget makes up just one-ten-thousandth of the $448 million that was distributed to all 50 states through the program last year. But the task force is the only law enforcement entity that investigates drug trafficking in the three counties it serves, which are about 90 miles southeast of Atlanta.