RENU Officer Funding Continued Through 2017

Township prioritizes budget to support fight against illegal drugs

Funding for a specialized sheriff’s officer who works to reduce the availability of illegal drugs on the street has been renewed by Anderson Township Trustees.

Since mid-2013, Anderson has paid for a Regional Narcotics Unit (RENU) officer who works with a team from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office focused on investigation of criminal organizations and individuals responsible for trafficking of controlled substances. Officers on this unit also assist local, state and federal law enforcement agencies when requested.

“Anderson Township is committed to fighting the opioid/heroin epidemic, and getting drugs off the streets is one piece of the puzzle,” noted Trustee Vice President Dee Stone.

The cost of the RENU officer is approximately $100,000 per year. However, the township receives a percentage of the assets seized, offsetting the cost of funding the officer. Last year the township received $64,694 according to Administrator Vicky Earhart and from January 2017 through March 2017, it recouped $22,120.

In 2016, the RENU team made 143 arrests and seized, among other illegal drugs, 1,495 pounds of marijuana, about 12 pounds of cocaine and heroin, and 16 pounds of methamphetamine.

Noted Township Trustees President Josh Gerth, “The safety of our residents has been and continues to be the utmost priority for this board. I am grateful that through thoughtful planning, we are in a position where we can dedicate additional resources to enhance the incredible service we already receive from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office,” he said.

“We will continue to look at this expenditure on an annual basis, until the heroin problem and the crimes associated with it and other narcotics subside,” Gerth noted. “I have no doubt we will continue to make this a priority in our budgeting process.”