Seized funds help Wellford modernize police department - FOX Carolina 21

Seized funds help Wellford modernize police department

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One of the new patrol cars purchased with seized money. (July 22, 2014/FOX Carolina) One of the new patrol cars purchased with seized money. (July 22, 2014/FOX Carolina)
WELLFORD, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The Wellford police department is using their share of money seized during a traffic stop to buy new equipment.

Captain Timothy Alexander said the department  received $377,000 in seized funds earlier this year.

Alexander said the money is a portion of the nearly $500,000 seized during a traffic stop by a Wellford officer back in 2012. The rest of the money Alexander said went to the Department of Homeland Security who helped in the investigation.

Alexander said the money was found inside a semi-truck that was pulled over for swerving.

"We got a really big surprise," Alexander said. "There was money duct taped inside the motor."

Federal guidelines, Alexander said, dictate how that the money must be spent on police related purchases.

So far the department has purchased four new patrol cars, new body armor and tasers, and modernized all their patrol cars with laptops and digital dash cams. Alexander said other things like more comfortable uniforms have been purchased as well.

Alexander said the department has spent roughly half of the money they received. He said they have three years to spend the money.

Without the seized funds, Alexander said it would have been nearly impossible to modernize the department without raising taxes. So he said the best part of this windfall of money is being able to provide citizens better protection at literally no cost to them.

"We have lots of elderly people on a fixed income," Alexander said. "They don't want to pay for new cars with tax money, they can't afford it."

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