Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement Pleads for Continued Funding

Agents with the state's Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement will be in Sacramento tomorrow in a bid to persuade legislators to continue funding for 51 task forces around California, a law enforcement association announced today.

Agents from Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Fresno, Redding and San Francisco will argue against cutting $20 million -- the funding pays for 70 agents on 51 task forces -- from the state Department of Justice's Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, according to the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association.

"Our goal is to make sure every single Assembly member and state senator is aware of the devastating consequences these cuts will have in fighting drug lords and capturing criminals of every type," said Mike Loyd, special agent supervisor for the California Department of Justice and president of the Association of Special Agents-Department of Justice."

Loyd said half of his agency's positions have been lost since 1994, and there are only 187 BNE agents.

"Local law enforcement agencies cannot possibly pick up the slack," Loyd said. "And federal law enforcement agencies depend on us to lead multi-jurisdictional task forces that have shut down more than 10,000 methamphetamine labs and are fighting the drug cartels in Mexico. Our expertise stretches over 82 years."

Attorney General Jerry Brown has called the proposed cuts "a terrible budgetary decision."

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