Federal budget cuts will take their toll on southwest Missouri's war on drugs unless state officials approve emergency funds to fully support the MOSMART program.
According to Southwest Missouri Drug Task Force officials, the agency will lose two experienced officers unless emergency funding can be secured through the state. Around $700,000 is needed to fully fund MOSMART, which is a primary source of funding for the local task force. MOSMART stands for Missouri Sheriffs Methamphetamine Relief Team.
Since Jan. 1, 2008, the Task Force's seven agents have worked almost 400 drug-related cases. With two less officers, drug-fighting efforts would be reduced.
The Southwest Missouri Drug Task Force currently serves Barry and McDonald counties. Negotiations are currently underway with another county that is interested in using the task force as its primary drug enforcement agency.
Task force officials are asking area citizens to contact their state officials and voice concerns about the drug manufacturing and drug abuse problem that is prevelant in Barry County and surrounding areas.