VOL. 114 | NO. 127 | Thursday, June 29, 2000
D.A.s program receives
funding for four years
The district attorneys office for the Thirtieth Judicial District of Tennessee received a grant from the federal government to support operation of its Drug Dealer Eviction Program for the next four years.
District Attorney Bill Gibbons said the Byrne Grant will provide $48,229 for fiscal year 2000-2001 and $22,159 per year for the next three fiscal years. Of the grant, $12,000 was approved as a one-time expense to purchase computers, office furniture, software and filing cabinets.
The grant also provides $10,000 annually to cover the cost of printing forms and other promotional/advertising material. An allowance for yearly operating expenses such as office supplies, phone and postage, also is included in the grant, as well as an annual allowance for travel and education.
Patterned after a successful New York City program, the Drug Dealer Eviction Programs aim is to rid Memphis neighborhoods of drug sales originating in rental properties. Landlords are empowered with the right to evict drug dealers from their property or to ask the district attorneys office to initiate proceedings. Residents of the neighborhood also can call in confidential tips of drug dealings to Crime Stoppers and, if the claims are substantiated, eviction proceedings follow.
The program coordinates the efforts of the D.A.s office, Crime Stoppers, the Memphis Police Department and the sheriffs department to reduce the sale of drugs in neighborhoods, Gibbons said.
The Drug Dealer Eviction Program began July 1, 1997. The district attorneys Narcotics Prosecution Unit was established in October 1999, in an effort to house all of the offices drug initiatives, which includes the Drug Court and West Tennessee Drug Task Force, under one umbrella. Assistant district attorney Bobby Carter is director of the unit and assistant district attorney Perry Hayes is assistant director.
``The Drug Dealer Eviction Program has received federal funding because of its recognized success. Over 700 people have been removed from rental properties since its inception. With this new funding, we plan to keep drug dealers on the run, Gibbons said.