Sheriff Bringing Back DIRT Unit

WilliamsonSangamon County experienced more of nearly every type of crime in 2012.
The county sheriff calls these figures “alarming and unacceptable”… and  plans to reinstate a law enforcement team disbanded years ago.
The 2012 numbers show two murders, more than 100 aggravated assaults, and nearly 550 thefts in the Sangamon County jurisdiction.
They might not sound like much for a county with a couple hundred-thousand people, but all represent significant increases from 2011.
County sheriff Neil Williamson says:

WILLIAMSON “When you see numbers, especially the homicides, and the armed robberies, and the criminal sexual assaults, the crimes against the people. Those are the ones that worry us. And they’re going up.”

Williamson says both murders and many other crimes have been traced back to drug use.
In response, Williamson will reactivate the sheriff’s Drug Interdiction Response Team, or “DIRT,” on March 4th.
The unit, which was disbanded in 2009 as a budget cut, will be made up of three current deputies.
Their task: research and follow up on drug-related tips.

WILLIAMSON “Drug dealers don’t work eight to four. You’re going to have to flex your hours and be innovative.”

While the money still isn’t there, Williamson says he has spoken with the county board and says members told him they are okay with paying the deputies overtime.

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