What is the Law for Chapter 59 Asset Forfeiture?
The head of a law enforcement agency or an attorney representing the state may not use proceeds or property received under this chapter to:
- contribute to a political campaign;
- make a donation to any entity, except as provided by Subsection (d-2);
- pay expenses related to the training or education of any member of the judiciary;
- pay any travel expenses related to attendance at training or education seminars if the expenses violate generally applicable restrictions established by the commissioners court or governing body of the municipality, as applicable;
- purchase alcoholic beverages;
- make any expenditure not approved by the commissioners court or governing body of the municipality, as applicable, if the head of a law enforcement agency or attorney representing the state holds an elective office
- increase a salary, expense, or allowance for an employee of the law enforcement agency or attorney representing the state who is budgeted by the commissioners court or governing body of the municipality unless the commissioners court or governing body first approves the increase.
What Can the Law Enforcement Agency Spend Forfeited Funds on?
- Salaries (That is approved by the governing body)
- Equipment (Vehicles, Computers, Firearms, Personal Equipment, etc)
- Supplies (Office Supplies, Cellular Air Time, Internet, etc.)
- Investigative Costs
- Prevention/Treatment Programs
- Facility Costs
- Other/Misc. (Court Costs, Filing Fees, Insurance, Witness Fees,etc.)
- Money Paid to Cooperating Agencies Pursuit to Local Agreement
As the Chief of Police, I believe in a transparent government. I am releasing a Midyear Chapter 59 Asset Forfeiture Report showing the current balance of our seizure account and our current year’s expenditures. Each year, I am tasked with accounting for how our department spends forfeiture money by completing a Chapter 59 Asset Forfeiture Report and presenting the report to our governing body (Italy City Council). The report is also sent to the State Attorney General’s Office. Failure to complete the report by a prescribed date will result in both Criminal and Civil Penalties. In other words, it is a pretty important part of my job.
As you will see, the police department has used money awarded to our department to upgrade outdated equipment on patrol units, provide updated security for our police department, purchase new patrol equipment that will keep our officers safe, purchase firearms training supplies that increases the proficiency of our officers, and also purchase crime prevention supplies that builds public awareness and trust. All of these purchases would not have been possible with an already impecunious budget.
If you have any questions regarding any specific expenditure, please contact me in person at the Italy Police Department and I will show receipts as long as it does not jeopardize an investigation.
The Italy Police Department does not have or use discretionary funds for undercover operations.