Drug seizures to fund city police training

Crime doesn't pay, but fighting crime has certainly paid off for the Ashland Police Department.

As a member of the federal Drug Enforcement Agency regional drug task force, the police department is entitled to a percentage of assets seized in criminal apprehensions with which they assisted. For work done in 2006, APD has been given $194,000 of a total of $318,000 in asset seizure funds since 2000.

The Ashland City Council will debate authorizing the police department to spend $66,900 of this money at its Tuesday meeting, 7 p.m. in the council chambers, 1175 E. Main St.

Ashland Police Chief Terry Holderness asked to use the money to purchase training sessions for officers on "problem-oriented policing and leadership," according to his staff report.

The leadership training is a three-week course that will be held during a three-month period, possibly in Ashland.

"This course is consistent with the PERF report goals of improving the quality of leadership and supervision and changing the department culture," he wrote in the staff report. It will cost between $25,000 and $30,000. The other course was specifically recommended by the PERF report &

an outside consultant's report on how APD could become better-suited to community policing standards, and will cost approximately $8,000.

Holderness would also like to use $8,500 for the purchase and maintenance of a new Segway &

a battery-powered, upright vehicle that a single officer can use to patrol.

Next year, he hopes to use $145,000 to make improvements to the police station on East Main Street.

"The department is working with public works to develop cost estimates and prioritize facility repairs and improvements," the staff report said. Police would like to add storage space, an interview room and improve the parking lot.

Holderness said asset funds typically come from cash or property seized during drug busts. For example, the APD may be given money next year if two real estate seizures in Cave Junction &

valued at $389,000 and $70,000 &

and one at Wolf Creek worth $495,000 are processed.

"The stuff seized this year, we won't see as income stream for two or three years," he said. "We get a relatively small percentage, depending on our participation and the agencies involved. If we're involved in seizing a $400,000 property, we don't see a large percentage of that."

In other business, the council will:


162; Discuss two proposals the Jackson County Library System received to run the 15 area libraries that were closed in April. A Maryland-based company has offered to operate the county libraries for $6 million, almost $2.7 less than Jackson County employees have offered to operate the libraries. County commissioners could choose either LSSI, the Maryland company, or use the previous model utilizing county employees.

"Once we know the county's decision," said a staff report, "the Council will want to discuss how to proceed with an intergovernmental agreement between the city and the council. It is possible that at least a portion of the discussion will need to occur in executive session."


162; Discuss a "condominium conversion ordinance" that has been forwarded to it by the Ashland Planning Commission and the Ashland Housing Commission.


162; Hear an appeal of an 18-unit subdivision at 247 Otis St. Ashland resident Art Bullock appealed the planning commission's decision to approve the housing development on the former site of the Helman Baths property.

Staff writer can be reached at 482-3456 ext. 226 or . To post a comment on this story, go to .

Share This Story