WICHITA, Kansas – Drug tax revenue is on the rise for the Wichita Police Department.
In 2009, WPD received less than $10,000 from drug busts. The following year, that number sky rocketed to more than $67,000.
Since 2010, drug tax revenue hasn’t fallen below $50,000.
“We seized over $500,000 last year from drug dealers through the interdiction unit, so a percentage of that money comes back to us,” said Sheriff Jeff Easter.
Kansas law enforcement agencies that make big busts are seeing big financial benefits, including the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office. But they are not the only ones reaping the rewards.
“It does help us in making purchases for equipment that we need, training that we need, then also giving back to the community as far as helping out youth in different types of events,” said Sheriff Easter.
From $5,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters to a few hundred dollars toward LAW Camp and the program for at-risk youth in Oaklawn called SCORE, a portion of the Sheriff’s drug tax revenue helped pay for it all.
The detailed financial report breaking down exactly how the 2013 revenue was spent by the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office can be viewed here.
Since 2009, however, drug tax revenue has been somewhat unpredictable.
In 2009, Sedgwick County Sheriff’s received less than $28,000. In 2010, on the other hand, it approached $100,000.
Predictable or not, Sheriff Jeff Easter told KSN the funds are becoming more important.
“We rely on it, to be real honest with you, because with all the expenditures that we have in law enforcement anymore, we’re just not built budget-wise to be able to take on all those expenses every year,” said Sheriff Easter.
KSN also sat down with the Wichita Police Department Thursday and while they were unable to provide us with an itemized list of what they spend drug tax revenue on, they did tell KSN it was some of the same expenses that the Sheriff’s office has, including training, equipment, and operations in an effort to make the Wichita community safer.
“The money has been used for training. It’s been used for equipment. You know, operational… costs,” said Wichita Police Lt. Dan East.
Although WPD has not yet presented the itemized financial report, Lt. East said he is working to make it available to KSN sometime Friday.