City of Columbia pulls out of drug task force

COLUMBIA, MS (WDAM) - The Columbia Board of Alderman voted unanimously to cut ties and funding to the Marion County Narcotics Task Force.

For years the City of Columbia and the Marion County Sheriff's Office have matched $30,000 in funds toward the formation and operation of the Marion County Narcotics Task Force.

The agreement expired in September, and on February 12th, Columbia Mayor Robert Bourne said he met with the sheriff, task force, and district attorney to discuss the renewal of the task force agreement.

Bourne said the purpose of the meeting was to gather information on the inter-local agreement and report back to the Columbia Board of Alderman.

Aldermen voted unanimously to cut ties with the task force and withdraw the city's portion of the funding.

Mayor Bourne said Monday, "The board did not feel that we had gotten adequate results for the amount of money that we were expending with the task force. That was their feelings, and I had to agree with that."

Bourne said withdrawing from the task force won't hinder Columbia's ability to investigate, apprehend, and prosecute drug cases.

The mayor and Columbia Police Chief Clint McMurry have asked the board of alderman for two weeks to finalize a plan to combat drugs in the city.  The next meeting for the Columbia Board of Alderman is scheduled for March 4.

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