Rolla Police Chief Sean Fagan brought two items forward for vote at the Rolla City Council meeting relating to the City of Rolla's cooperation with the South Central Drug Task Force.
The first, a resolution authorizing the mayor of Rolla to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the South Central Drug Task Force, followed by a Fiduciary Agreement for the City of Rolla on behalf of the Rolla Police Department to agree to act as a fiduciary on behalf of the South Central Drug Task Force.
“We currently have two officers assigned to the task force, and going through past paperwork we’ve noticed we’ve never really had a Memorandum of Understanding with any of our officers there, so we decided it’s probably time to do one,” reported Rolla Police Chief Fagan to the Rolla City Council at the Nov. 19 city council meeting.
The resolution calls for City of Rolla Mayor Louis Magdits to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the Rolla Police Department and the South Central Drug Task Force for continued cooperation in the enforcement of drug and controlled substance laws.
The Fiduciary Agreement is asking for the City of Rolla -- specifically the Rolla Police Department -- to enter as the fiduciary for the South Central Drug Taskforce in handling their drug seizure money and in distributing their drug seizure money.
“We have to do this because the Federal Government has determined that task forces are no longer allowed to handle their own drug seizure money, since they are a multi-jurisdictional unit it has to be done through a city,” said Fagan.
Rolla Mayor Magdits asked Rolla Police Chief Fagan where the balance and flow of the money is reported.
“It will be on our books as soon as we start taking it. However, it will be partitioned because we still have a substantial amount of seizure money of our own, so it will be partitioned as to what is Rolla’s and what the South Central Drug Taskforce’s money,” said Fagan.
Moreover, because all of the money is going to be the City of Rolla’s responsibility now, it will be reported on the city’s books under the South Central Drug Task Force. The funds will then be restricted and will show up in a budget document as revenue deposited and as an asset. Also, the funds will show up in an audit, noted Rolla City Administrator John Butz.
“Since Rolla already had a seizure fund we just transferred that money into our fund, and when the task force needs the money, they will contact us, we will make sure it’s a legal expenditure, and the City of Rolla will issue the money to them for the specific purpose,” said Fagan.
Rolla City Council Member Brian Woolley inquired about how much extra work this is going to cost the Rolla Police department.
“We are not going to be handling their money they have operating funds of their own that the Federal Government allows them to use that is run through the Missouri State Highway Patrol,” said Fagan. “It’s just seizure money. Seizure money can only be used for very specific items such as training and equipment. And they use that mostly for equipment.”
The agreements are not going to require much extra work since the City of Rolla itself will garner one and one-half percent of any of the South Central Drug Task Force’s seizure money for agreeing to a Memorandum of Understanding and a Fiduciary Agreement, said Fagan.
Currently, the South Central Drug Task Force has a little over $1 million in seizure money coming in, “so for a little amount of work that it’s going to cost we are going to get one and one-half percent to cover our costs,” said Fagan.
Rolla Mayor Magdits read the resolution authorizing the Mayor of the City of Rolla to execute on behalf of the City of Rolla a specific Interagency Agreement and Fiduciary Agreement between the City of Rolla and the South Central Drug Taskforce, and the resolution passed with all Rolla City Council members in favor.
The purpose of the South Central Drug Task Force and the City of Rolla entering into an Interagency agreement is to allow for greater enforcement coverage of drug and controlled substance laws by facilitating cooperation between the South Central Drug Task Force and the City of Rolla.
The Interagency Agreement further states another purpose is to provide Rolla Police Department officers, in conjunction with the South Central Drug Task Force, further liaison with local, state and Federal Law coordination and drug intelligence sharing.