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Felons Pay for Law Enforcement Items

By Jordan Hall
By jhall@wbbjtv.com

McNAIRY COUNTY, Tenn. -- It's not just taxpayers who are keeping the McNairy County Sheriff's Department funded.

Over the past 4 years, thousands of dollars have been used to pay for items needed to fight crime by the felons themselves.

The back of many of the vehicles at the Sheriff's Department say, 'Paid for by the drug dealers of McNairy County.'

"I think it's a financially responsible way to deal with the challenges we have, knowing the county's not rich and our revenues are not going to increase," McNairty County Sheriff Guy Buck said.

The sheriff said his taxpayer funded budget is limited, and has made it difficult for him to afford basic operating equipment.

"We knew that we had to be creative, and we knew we had to think outside the box," Buck said.

They turned to the drug fund. Four years later, the department has bullet-proof vests, laptops and things deputies need to operate and fight crime.

This fiscal year alone, he says the funds have bought $60,000 worth of equipment. The drug funds have even provided things like security cameras for the building.

"If the sheriff has actually generated those funds through his drug fund, that's just basically money at the expense of a felon," McNairy County Mayor Ronnie Brooks said.

Court fines and money from selling things like seized guns and vehicles are two of the ways the fund is fueled.

"As long as we're able to keep funding the drug fund in the way we are, there's no reason to ask taxpayers for money if we can generate that money on our own. I think everybody enjoys the idea of getting better services at no cost to the county," Sheriff Buck said.

The sheriff's department says over 4 years, the department has bought 13 cars.
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