Billy Schat, commander of the West Central Texas Interlocal Crime Task Force, said his agency is self-funded and does not fall under the agencies that legislators are trying to eliminate.
"We don't receive any grant money," Schat
said."We operate solely on our own funding." Schat
said the West Central Texas task force
is governed by a local board made up of sheriffs and district attorneys in the counties the task force serves. Schat
said the board made the decision to operate independently because of the direction the legislators were headed regarding task forces. The West Central Texas task force
was created in 1987 and provides 15 Big Country counties with trained narcotics investigators to conduct undercover drug trafficking investigations.The task force also provides equipment and training for rural law officers. Schat
was not surprised legislators are trying to eliminate the task force system, especially after the fallout from a 1999 drug bust in the Panhandle town of Tulia."There's a lot of groups who want the task forces to go away," Schat