DTF receives honor for service

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 3, 2003

The 22nd Judicial District Drug Task Force was honored Friday for its work in fighting the drug problem in Covington County.

The honor came in the form of a plaque from WAKA-8 CBS in Montgomery.

"Each monh we recognize police officers, firefighters, paramedics and such," said Layne Kauffman, special events coordinator for WAKA, which also has an office in Andalusia. "We like to recognize them for all their hard work, so the people know the importance of what they're doing."

WAKA also films a short interview with those who earn the award, which is then aired on the news.

According to Kauffman, the award, now in its fifth year, can be given to either individuals or groups.

"Andalusia Police Chief (Wilbur) Williams sent us informatioun about the task force," Kauffman said.

The information Williams sent to WAKA included a brief history of the task force, its composition, and its results.

"It was obvious from the beginning that relying on purely traditonal methods of dealing with narcotic problems was not going to be sufficient in dealing with the multi-faceted problems created by this relatively new phenomenon in drug culture," Williams wrote, referring to the rise in methamphetamine production, a major focus of the DTF. "The DTF launched an effort to inform and educate as many citizens as possible about this new drug and the potential lethal effects on the users and the environment."

Williams also mentioned the DTF's arrest and conviction records, with a 99.99 percent conviction rate at the present, and more than 130 meth labs discovered and destroyed.

"The combination of hard work and the implementation of innovative approaches have resulted in outstanding results for our DTF and a level of respect in the community that is unparalleled," Williams stated.

Andalusia Police Chief Wilbur Williams, Opp Police Chief Bill Shaw and Covington County Sheriff Anthony Clark, all members fo the DTF Board of Directors, were on hand at the presentation at Andalusia City Hall. Also present were members of the DTF, Andalusia Rescue Squad, Andalusia Fire Department and other First Responders.

"We would like to thank the patrol officers for their help," said one of the DTF agents.

Commander Paul Dean thanked the station for its recogntion.

"We don't do this job for the recognition," he said. "But we appreciate it."