Washington/Louisa County Task Force to end June 30
On June 30, the long-standing Washington/Louisa County Narcotics Task Force will end and Washington County will begin a drug enforcement partnership with Johnson and Iowa counties.
Citing news that Louisa County has already approached Muscatine County about partnering for drug enforcement, Washington County Sheriff Jerry Dunbar made the motion to the Washington/Louisa Task Force board this morning to dissolve the task force. It was approved unanimously. He said that Johnson County has already approved partnering with Washington County for drug enforcement duties. Louisa County Sheriff Brad Turner had been invited but was not present at the meeting, held in the Marr Park Conservation Education Center.
“This is separation by paper only of the Washington/Louisa County Drug Task Force,” Dunbar said.
The agenda said that the board would have “discussion on future structure of the Washington/Louisa Narcotics Task Force.” Dunbar said he had checked with Washington County Attorney Larry Brock, who had given approval to take action during the meeting.
He said that Washington County plans to continue work with Louisa County on drug enforcement and that the working relationship would change very little.
Dunbar said that in order to complete a grant for funding of the task force, Washington County needed to know Louisa County’s intention by the end of March. He said that he “didn’t see that happening” and felt it was in the best interest of the county to seek other options.
“I think it would be fair to say we have tried to get Brad’s (Turner) intention of what he wants to do,” Washington Police Chief Greg Goodman said. “We are not really clear, so we decided we needed to move that direction.”
Dunbar said that Louisa would partner with Muscatine and Cedar counties.
“In my opinion, that is the way it was going to be,” Columbus Junction Police Chief Donnie Orr said.
During the Jan. 21 board meeting, concerns were raised regarding the amount of funding that could be secured for the task force in its current structure.