DA#039;s office gets #036;50K

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 3, 2003

One of Covington County's key agencies for combating crime has received a bit of additional funding to maintain those efforts.

The continued prosecution of misdemeanor and felony crimes in Covington County is assured thanks to two state grants awarded to assist local officials in meeting operational expenses.

House Speaker Seth Hammett and State Senator Jimmy Holley announced Mon-day that the 22nd Judicial District headquartered in Andalusia will re-ceive two $25,000 grants to assist local prosecutors in managing an increased caseload.

Funding for the grants comes from the Office of Prosecution Services and the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA).

"The need for this grant was apparent when one considers the vast increase in the DA's caseload," said Hammett. "I support any effort that removes the criminal element from our streets."

Holley agreed that the added funding will ensure safety of citizens in Covington County.

"Covington County residents can rest assured that those who run afoul of the law will continue to have their day in court," said Holley.

District Attorney Eugenia Loggins said one unanticipated consequence of the county's Drug Task Force has been a sharp increase in the number of cases referred to the DA's office.

"The number of methamphetamine labs busted by the Task Force and the increase of crimes associated with the drug trade has increased our caseload, but funding has not kept pace," said Loggins. "If we had not received this funding, I was going to have to cut the hours of some of our prosecutors. As it is, I had to let a secretary go because we could not afford to keep her."

Loggins said there has been an increase in crimes related to the drug trade, including domestic violence, burglary, assault and murder.

"We're seeing more crime and more violent crime than at any time since I've been DA, but this grant will help us hang on until more help comes," said Loggins. "Seth Hammett has always been a friend of law enforcement and we certainly appreciate his help."