Law enforcement agencies receive state meth grants

Medford police and the Jackson County Sheriff's Department each have received grants of more than $30,000 to help fight methamphetamine.

Eleven agencies throughout the state were given one-time grants to help pay for officer overtime and technological improvements.

The grants were funded by the Emergency Board Meth-Enforcement Grant Program. A total of $400,000 was distributed.

"The funds were competitively distributed to local law enforcement agencies to support programs to reduce the manufacture and/or distribution of methamphetamine," said Karen Green of the Oregon State Police Criminal Justice Services Division.

Medford police will use the bulk of its $32,279 grant on overtime for its Gang and Street Drug Unit, which constitutes four investigators, a sergeant and one detective assigned to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, said Lt. Tim Doney.

"It was nice to get money we hadn't planned on having," Doney said.

Even though the amount of meth produced in the Rogue Valley has declined since the Legislature banned several of the ingredients needed for making the drug from store shelves, Doney said meth usage remains a problem.

In addition, the Jackson County Sheriff's Department was awarded $36,472. The money will go to the Jackson County Narcotics Enforcement Team to provide funds for overtime costs of two detectives, laptop computers and surveillance equipment, officials said.

Josephine County was granted $40,840 for overtime and portable digital radios. Douglas County plans to use its $18,400 grant on improving its drug dog program.

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