Legislation would allow drug probes at TMHA

WARREN -- City council will consider new legislation today allowing city police to conduct drug investigations on Trumbull Metropolitan Housing Authority properties.
The Trumbull County Sheriff's Department in February rescinded a contract with TMHA to perform the investigations because of budget cutbacks and layoffs.
All pending investigative case information is being forwarded to the Warren Police Department.
The ordinance sponsored by Councilwoman Susan E. Hartman, D-7th, would let the city cops provide narcotics investigations on TMHA properties countywide, under the countywide auspices of the authority. TMHA would pay the city $50,000 under the contract, which would run through February 2006.
David Ovesny, TMHA security chief, has told TMHA board members that the early release from the Trumbull County jail of inmates facing drug and criminal trespass charges is causing crime and safety concerns at housing authority properties.
Trumbull County does not want to release violent criminals from its jail, but it has reduced its bed space there from 286 to 188. The reductions are in response to staff layoffs caused by a budget shortfall this year.
Ovesny said drug offenders are routinely released until the confiscated drugs are tested at a laboratory and formal charges are filed.

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