Garden, seized cash help save Monroe taxpayers money

6:13 PM, May 7, 2013   |    comments
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In Monroe County, the sheriff says two programs in his department are saving taxpayers money.

The narcotics division says it no longer uses county money at all, using only cash seized from drug busts to fund its operations.

Sheriff Bill Bivens says while that's a good step, fighting drug crime can get expensive.

"If you have to do undercover buys, it's very expensive to buy the drugs, when you do an undercover operation. 80 milligrams of hydrocodone costs 80 dollars," said Sheriff Bivens.

The sheriff says with the money seized, the drug task force funds all three of its officers, its vehicles and gas, and all the equipment with no burden on taxpayers.

The department also recently started an inmate gardening program that will save money spent on food.

Inmates will have their own garden to plant, maintain and harvest.

"What we're gonna do is use inmate labor and hopefully get enough produce where we can use it in jail and minimize any additional costs we incur throughout the year," said Bryan Graves, Chief Deputy.

Graves says if the yields are high enough, any extra crops will go to non-profit organizations in the county.

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