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Law enforcement pushes for a drug court in Taylor County

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The city of Abilene continues to fight drug abuse, which is why the idea of a drug court has been brought about.

"Our citizens and the police department agree that drug abuse remains the number one crime concern for our city," said Abilene Police Chief Stan Standridge.

Within the last two weeks, five canines have assisted in 33 traffic stops that have resulted in 24 drug arrests. Also during that same time period, law enforcement executed four search warrants that resulted in 16 drug arrests.

Standridge said this week a subcommittee that is part of the mayors A.C.T. initiative, which stands for Accept responsibility, Collaborate and Take action, asked the police department for a letter of support for a drug court.

"We did communicate to them that the Abilene Police Department and the city of Abilene are supportive of a drug court if ultimately the city decides it's something we can accomplish," Standridge said.

Taylor County Commissioner Chuck Statler said Taylor County may not be far away from having a court dedicated to drug cases.

"We'll evaluate the number of cases that are filed in district court as far as drug related and then we'll get our heads together and try to figure out, do we ask for another court from the state or do we ask one of the district judges to dedicate his docket to hearing primarily drug cases," Statler said.

Statler said drug courts are more common in bigger counties in Texas. In Harris County, Statler said the judge dedicated to drug cases is hard on drug offenders so they don't come back, which is what he would expect if Taylor County had a drug court of its own.

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