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Police use criminal cash for the good - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Police use criminal cash for the good

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Have you ever wondered what happens to the cars and luxury items that are seized from drug dealers?

Those funds go into a special asset forfeiture account for law enforcement officers to use where they see fit.

The Port Neches Police Department is looking forward to a facelift in their front yard because criminals will be paying for new landscaping.

"It would only be currency that you would recover that you can prove are proceeds that are used in these drug transactions," said Port Neches police chief Paul Lemoine.

Locals like Rhonda Koons are happy to hear improvements will be paid for out of a drug dealer's pocket and not out of hers.

"It's good use of the money," said Koons." It saves the taxpayers and they're getting what they need."

The funds can pay for items that help the officers do their job like new vehicles, updated equipment or enhancements to existing equipment, and additional safety gear and protective vests.

"That helps us too," said Koons. "If they've got what they need they can do their job to the best of their ability for us."

The officers who seize these funds are from both the port Neches and Nederland Police Departments who work with Jefferson County Sheriffs on a special narcotics task force with the primary mission to bust drug related crimes.

"You're trying to get the drugs off the street the money's just extra," said Lemoine.

The proceeds are split between each department and the chief estimates Port Neches PD will receive about $12,000 this year in seizure funds.

The task force has seized over $360,000 so far for the year.

The Port Neches Police Chief says the department will use at least $2,500 to $3,000 for community events each year.

Some of this year's money will be used for the annual National Night Out celebration coming up on October 2nd at the Port Neches Riverfront Park.

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