Last Thursday, the South Dakota Attorney General released this statement as part of a press release:
Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that the South Dakota Highway Patrol has been awarded $240,936 for a SWAT vehicle to be used in drug investigations. This purchase will be used as a multi-agency response vehicle for deployment throughout western South Dakota. The money was awarded out of the Drug Control Fund. The award will assist local law enforcement in drug control and apprehension purposes.
“The Drug Control Fund allows law enforcement to combat controlled substance abuse by funding local programs with monies seized from drug arrests,” said Jackley. “These funds will assist law enforcement across western South Dakota to better protect all communities.”
“The Highway Patrol considers interdiction of illegal drugs to be one of its top priorities. Having the capability of a SWAT vehicle for use by state and local law enforcement across western South Dakota will help us fight illegal drugs and keep our officers, our state and its citizens safe,” said Colonel Craig Price.
Our colleagues at the Institute for Justice have graded South Dakota’s asset forfeiture laws a C, noting:
And law enforcement has access to 100 percent of the money it brings in from civil forfeiture. Initially, the assets are distributed to a “drug control fund” managed by the Attorney General, but law enforcement can then request that money for its own use. There is no requirement that law enforcement collect or report information on the use of forfeiture or its proceeds.