New year for drug task force

Published 9:42 pm Friday, January 25, 2013

From another perspective, Griggers said they are also working to grant people second chances in drug court. Those who sell drugs are not eligible for drug court.

Griggers said one of his goals for the task force is to grow with the addition of other agents to better serve the area.

“Our goal is not to stay as we are, our goal is to grow,” he said.

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For now, the task force will remain housed in the DA’s office and the two entities will maintain a close relationship.

Sumlin pointed to the Griggers as the reason the task force has continued to run without interruption.

“He’s the reason we are in existence today,” Sumlin said. “It is because we have a DA that feels so strongly about this issue.”

The passion of Sumlin and Griggers is apparent as they each look to their personal interactions with seeing how drugs can adversely affect a community as their motivation in working with the task force.

“I have seen first hand what drugs do and the direct effects it has on a person and the indirect effects it has on a community,” Griggers said.

Sumlin has years of experience working in this field after having worked many other places in this region prior to his work with the task force. Among his list includes working narcotics at the Demopolis Police Department.

“I think the task force is a very essential need in this circuit,” Sumlin said.

The force receives many calls alerting them of suspicious activity across the areas; however, oftentimes they may spend months working a case in efforts to get the big picture including nabbing the drug suppliers as well.

While combating drugs is an effort of the task force, Griggers also sees the other side of what drugs can do to a family.

“I get the chance to sit down and talk to people a mother about their child, a wife about her husband, wondering what they can do to help their loved one on drugs,” Griggers said. “We have to combat it (drugs) from every direction.”

With days full of work to aid area officers in getting drugs off the streets, Sumlin networks with other departments across the area to exchange information and offer assistance.

“The success we have is going to be a collective effort and will depend on how well we all work together,” Griggers said.