3 towns dropping out of northwest Arkansas drug task force

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- Three northwest Arkansas police chiefs say they're dropping out of the 4th Judicial District Drug Task Force.

The chiefs in Tontitown, Johnson and Elkins say they're leaving the task force after June 30 -- joining Elm Springs, which left last year.

Tontitown and Elm Springs Police Chiefs Joey McCormick and Jason Hiatt told the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the $1,500 membership fees can be better spent for their own departments. The Johnson and Elkins police chiefs didn't return phone calls for comment.

The money is used to pay for a rural officer within the task force who can work in any jurisdiction.

The task force started in 1991 and provides initial and follow-up investigations into drug-related crime in Washington and Madison counties.

The town of Goshen plans to join the force later this year.