The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) and the Memphis Police Department (MPD) are the two biggest spenders of money from seized assets in the state, according to new figures from The Washington Post.
Since 2008, Tennessee law enforcement agencies have spent about $37.5 million from cash or property seized under federal civil forfeiture laws, according to the report.
The newspaper said police agencies don’t give a lot of details on how they spend the money from seized assets. They most often categorize this kind of spending as “other.”
The SCSO tops Tennessee’s list with more than $5.3 million spent in proceeds from assets police suspected were linked to crime. More than $2 million of that was spent in the “other” category, the report says. The office spent more than $1.6 million of the money on electronic surveillance and more than $1.4 million on building improvements.
Since 2008, MPD has spent more than $4.7 million that it got through seized assets. The department spent 40 percent of that money — about $1.9 million — on salaries and overtime. It spent about $1.3 million on communications and computers and about $1.2 million in the “other” category.
Rounding out the top five on the Tennessee list are the Metro Nashville Police Department ($3.8 million), the Tennessee Department of Safety ($3 million), and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation ($2.1 million).