Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard slams police funding changes in federal budget

PONTIAC, Mich. – Changes in the federal budget likely mean police departments will lose a key funding source, according to the Oakland County Sheriff.

Local police departments no longer get will be able to use assets seized from criminals to fund community anti-drug programs according to rules in the new budget. Currently, about 80% of assets seized go to local department under a program called “equitable sharing.”

“It’s more federal government balancing their budget on the backs of locals and it’s more of local [government] subsidizing the federal government with their personnel,” said Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard.

Bouchard says his department is already feeling the effects of the budget shift.

“It’s frustrating they are constantly taking away resources, witling different accounts,” he said.

Bouchard says Washington constantly takes away resources - but still demands a lot from police agencies.

Local officers are asked to participate in cyber task forces, terrorism task forces, and other joint-agency efforts, but Bouchard says they are also expected to foot the bill.

“They continually ask us to send people to be part of these task forces to work together but they want us to shoulder 100 percent of the cost and any proceeds from illegal behavior that's taken, they get to keep 100 percent now under this decision, which again makes no sense. It's not equitable and it's called equitable sharing. They just took away the equitable part.”

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