A$$et Forfeiture: An Effective Tool for Law Enforcement




Jeffcoat, Jason

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)



Police departments across the nation face various struggles every day. These struggles range from dealing with a surge of criminal activity in a certain area of a city to a citizen complaining to the city council that the police department is not doing enough to combat criminal activity. Most police departments are going to find a way to satisfy the citizen even if one of the factors possibly leading to a surge in crime is a recently reduced budget, which has strained the police department and its resources. In order to offset a reduced budget with increased criminal activity, law enforcement agencies must file civil suits against those who commit certain crimes, especially those crimes that have affected the livelihood of the community in which they serve. This could vary from narcotic distribution to street racing to prostitution. There are countless crimes that law enforcement are allowed to seize the assets that were derived from a crime; after all, these are probably the crimes the citizens are complaining about. This is why law enforcement agencies should actively pursue civil asset seizure and use the proceeds from those seizures to help pay for the investigation of crimes the criminals committed. Police departments must be cautious when seeking assets to seize and understand that the seizures must be legitimate and legal. The seizure of these items or funds will allow departments to supplement budget shortfalls in tougher economic times.


Forfeiture--United States