|Legal Opinion: |
Text of Document: January 25, 1993
Your questions are, can the city use the drug fund to pay the salary of an officer assigned to the judicial task force, and can it use the drug fund to pay the overtime pay of the police officer who cares for the "drug dog"?
In my opinion, the answers to both questions is yes, provided that the officer assigned to the judicial task force and the drug dog are used exclusively in the city's drug enforcement programs. The facts you gave me indicate that the two officers in question meet that qualification.
It has been opined by the Tennessee Attorney General in OAG U89-114 that a city can allocate drug fund money to the district attorney general for the latter's purchase of typewriters, filing cabinets, copying machines, etc., "if that equipment is used in the drug enforcement program of the city or county which provided the funds." [Page 4.] If a city can use the drug fund for that purpose, it seems likely that such funds can also be used to pay the salaries of police officers assigned to judicial task forces, and the overtime of officers who maintain the drug dog. In both cases, it appears that the money is being used in the city's drug enforcement program.
Here are OAG Opinions U89-114, U92-133, 89-118, 90-98, 92-45, and unnumbered opinion dated May 17, 1983, all of which bear on your question, and appear to support my opinion.
Let me know if I can help you further in this or an other matter.
Sidney D. Hemsley
Senior Law Consultant