BENTON - The Scott County Sheriff's Department will receive nearly $100,000 over the next two years through the Missouri Sheriffs Methamphetamine Relief Team, or "MOSMART," grant.
This grant, which will cover the salary, benefits and expenses for a special methamphetamine investigator, does not require any matching funds and is 100 percent reimbursable, according to Sheriff Bill Ferrell.
The Scott County methamphetamine officer will work closely with members of the SEMO Drug Task Force, according to Lt. Brenda Schiwitz. "We have an officer in place as of today," she said Wednesday. The sheriff determined the investigator will be more effective if his identity is not revealed, according to Schiwitz.
"I feel very good about the project. I know we will be able to utilize this officer to full advantage," said Ferrell. "We have a definite problem with methamphetamine in our county and we will continue to address this problem, making cases and arresting those responsible."
Scott County was approved for $99,913 or 99.9 percent of the $100,000 maximum grant amount available to be awarded for the two-year grant period.
Ferrell said Scott County did not apply for the first grant phase two years ago as the SEMO Drug Task Force had applied for funds. As an active member of the task force, Ferrell opted to support their efforts first.
"I want to personally thank Sen. Kit Bond and Cape County Sheriff John Jordan who were instrumental in obtaining money to initiate the grant," said Ferrell. He explained Jordan, who heads the committee responsible for awarding and overseeing the grants in Missouri, and Bond worked to secure the federal funding to implement the program in Missouri.
"Sheriff Jordan worked closely with other Missouri sheriffs in laying the foundation for the grant applications and reviewing those applications to award money to fund specific operations," said Ferrell. "Without their help, this money would not be available for Missouri's meth problems."
The application process was "very competitive," according to Jordan. "Requests for funding exceeded funds available by $842,000."
Sheriff's Department officials are hopeful the grant will be extended after the first two years to continue funding the position as long as needed.