SPRINGFIELD, IL- In the last three years drug related arrests in rural Sangamon County have dropped drastically, partially due to a lack of funding.
The Drug Investigation Response Team, or DIRT, was originally formed to fight the county's meth problem. But back in 2009, money for the county's drug program was cut and DIRT had to be disbanded.
After that team was disbanded, the sheriff's department didn't always have the man power to take on all the drug related cases. That means a bigger case load for state and city police.
After the end of the DIRT team, drug arrests in rural Sangamon County fell by more than two thirds. "We understand that the money is just not there," Sangamon County Chief Deputy Jack Campbell says. "It is frustrating from our end, but we know that if there's no money, there's no money."
Campbell says his office is actively pursuing more funding to bring the team back in Springfield.
In the three years before the county's drug team was disbanded, deputies made more than 900 drug related arrests. But in the years after the program was shut down, there have been less than 500 drug related arrests.