Forfeiture funds assist Central Texas law enforcement agencies

Wednesday, December 25, 2013 - 12:55pm

McLennan County law enforcement agencies are reaping the fruits of their labor. Through a strong partnership with the district attorney's office, officials are taking more drugs off the streets and using the money collected for a greater good.

"We're all on the same team, and communication is imperative when we're talking about fighting against crime," said District Attorney Abel Reyna.

Since being elected to office in 2011, Reyna has taken a proactive stance against criminals, seizing not only contraband, but also the property these criminals use in committing crimes.

"It becomes very important that you keep both of those at a constant pressure against criminals so that you can keep that fight against crime," said Reyna.

The money collected from the crimes goes into what's called a forfeiture fund. Reyna says in the last year he's worked to ensure cases are closed faster so that law enforcement agencies can reap the benefits of their work sooner.

"Now that the oldest case that we have is simply 2012, where before it was about six years old, what it does is it allows us to take that money and turn it over more quickly and distribute it to the agencies and to our office," said Reyna.

Some of the benefactors of that money are the local game wardens. Three radios were recently purchased for them so they will now be able to communicate with dispatchers and other agencies out on the water in the event of an emergency.

"They were in situations where they had to call 911 if they needed back-up, literally from a cell phone," said Reyna.

Reyna says altogether, a little more than $780,000 have been seized in forfeitures since he's been in office.


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