COMBAT County Conducts A Series Of COMBAT Community Meetings
JUNE 2, 2009 -- Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders joined County Prosecutor Jim Kanatzar, other law enforcement officials and the COMBAT staff in conducting a series of community meetings to examine crime trends within the County, with an emphasis on the important role COMBAT (the Community Backed Anti-drug Tax) has played in making our communities safer.
MEETINGS HELD MAY 16 & 30
"Our drug court is now a model for others all across the nation," said Sanders.
7,200 'DRUG PROPERTIES' SHUT DOWN
Since 1991, 7,200 "drug properties" in Jackson County have been shut down through COMBAT-funded Drug Abatement Response Team.
COMBAT funding allows smaller police forces to either hire personnel to handle drug cases or to pool resources through the Jackson County Drug Task Force, stated Scott Lyons, a major with the Lee's Summit Police Department. COMBAT also supports many police department's D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) programs. COMBAT, Sheriff Mike Sharp , said is the prime funding source for the Jackson County Sheriff's Junior Deputy program, which focuses on providing life lessons in area classrooms with a specific focus on issues related to the County.
Other law enforcement officers participating in the May 16 meetings were Sergeant Bob Harmon, who leads the Blue Springs Police Department D.A.R.E. program, and Independence Deputy Chief John Main.
Judge Susan Watkins oversees the Independence and Eastern Jackson County Youth Court. The COMBAT-funded court, she said, is operated with youth volunteers handling cases involving youth offenders. The court's goal is to give young offenders a second chance through treatment.
The COMBAT Community Meetings also include providers of prevention and treatment agencies, as well as testimonials from recovering addicts treated through COMBAT-funded programs. Raising public awareness through meetings such as these was one of several key recommendations in the Report of the COMBAT Review Committee, issued in October of 2007, seven months after Sanders formed the committee to analyze the entire COMBAT program, from its historic origins to its effectiveness and accomplishment of goals. CLICK HERE to down the COMBAT Review Committee's report (PDF).
Daniels-Young stressed that raising awareness about the scope and effectiveness of COMBAT was among her chief goals as director. CLICK HERE for more information about her initial objectives as the COMBAT director.