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TASK FORCE ON BREAK-INS COULD CURB OTHER CRIME

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Authorities hope a proposed tak force studying break-ins and burglaries in Davidson County will reduce other crimes.

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A proposed task force aimed at curbing home break-ins in Davidson County also could reduce other crimes, law enforcement officials say.

The task force, which has been approved by the county and now must be approved by state officials, would focus primarily on burglaries.But authorities believe the payoff from the task force could result in more drug arrests and an overall reduction in crime.

``Break-ins and drugs usually go hand-in-hand - the crime is so dependent on the other,' Sheriff Jimmy Johnson said. ``All the crime seems to be intermingled, so that this will help several areas.'

The $300,000 program - with nearly $70,000 in funding from the county - was approved by county commissioners in February. The town of Denton, which would receive specific coverage from the task force, will contribute about $7,000 to the program.

The task force would consist of three new sheriff's deputies and a secretary.

The program would seek to curb break-ins in the rural areas of the county, which Johnson said are susceptible to crime.

``It will certainly help us out with break-ins throughout the county,' Johnson said.

``It's a means of increasing our detective and investigative staff.'

Johnson hopes the task force eventually will reduce break-ins by 20 percent. Burglaries in the county accounted for more than $7 million in losses over the last three years.

The two-year program also would feature about $50,000 in surveilance equipment, including a $21,500 camera that would monitor areas from a tall mast.

The county currently has a drug task force, but the breaking and entering task force would be a first, Johnson said.

Johnson expects to hear from state officials this month about funding for the program.

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