Sheriff's Department Won't Continue Federal Surplus Program - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

01/14/04 - Tyler

Sheriff's Department Won't Continue Federal Surplus Program

Amid controversy, Smith County's Sheriff says his department will no longer take surplus items from the federal government. 

The department has been criticized by some County Commissioners as some of the items received from the government can't be accounted for. The County gets the surplus materials as part of an agreement to house federal prisoners.

But while Sheriff Smith says federal prisoners will still be held in County jails, the surplus program is a major distraction that his department doesn't need. 

"If it's going to be a distraction -- if it's going to keep us from doing what our job is -- that's putting people in jail who are hurting other people... it's not worth the trouble for us," Smith said.

The Sheriff's Department has said that a full accounting of what the county received from the federal may never be complete. That's because some of the items were simply discarded.

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