The South Carolina National Guard helps state law enforcement agencies fight the war on drugs and terror in the state, and now the Guard wants to expand their role even more.
For over two decades, the South Carolina National Guard has helped state law enforcement agencies target drug trafficking and terrorists threats through drug reduction teams and additional manpower programs. Now, the National Guard has proposed a new program to expand the role of guardsmen and allow them to investigate financial records. South Carolina’s congressional delegation is considering the plan, says South Carolina National Guard Public Affairs Director, Pete Brooks.
“The new expansion, if it’s approved, would look at a lot of financial transactions and financial records and try to trace back who’s financing some of the drug trade,” says Brooks.
Brooks says the program is just an idea right now, the Department of Defense is looking into the options of expansion, but it’s still early. The objective is a global attempt to take out these “drug kings.”
On a local level, Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon supports the idea,”I think it just provides access and opportunities there, training and otherwise, that I think law enforcement really needs, and I think it kind of stickin’ one’s head in the sand not to recognize the needs to shift those attitudes.”
Not all law enforcement leaders agree with Cannon on this issue. Other police chiefs in the area, like North Charleston Police Chief John Zumalt, are wary about the program because they don’t feel the National Guard should have such a prominent role domestically. No word yet on how much the new program would cost.