Funding For California’s War On Drugs Gutted By Budget Cuts

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US Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team officers (MSST) watch over bales of cocaine in Alameda, April 23, 2007. (AP)

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SANTA CLARA (KCBS)— The Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement could be shut down as a result of the $71 million cut to the Division of Law Enforcement budget approved by Governor Jerry Brown.

Kent Shaw, acting chief of the state Department of Justice Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, said the elimination of the bureau, which was formed in 1927, is a “devastating and significant cut”. Shaw said the department manages 55 multi-jurisdictional task forces throughout the state of California.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

“It will effectively result in the elimination of the bureau, The Bureau of Investigations and Intelligence, and have further repercussions within the division of law enforcement,” said Shaw.

Shaw is concerned California’s war on gangs and drugs could be taking a big hit as narcotic enforcement will be handcuffed and the ability to fight gang violence will be crippled.

“You’ll see criminal organizations which are pretty much unfettered in their ability to expand their operations and continue to victimize our citizens by increasing drug trafficking and perpetuating more gang crimes,” he added.

The Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement is the oldest narcotics bureau in the U.S.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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