Georgia police departments and law enforcement agencies are increasingly using seized cash and property to upgrade their vehicle fleets, weapons and other equipment.
The seizures -- and the payouts from them -- have been growing, especially in Georgia. The state’s law enforcement agencies last year got nearly $30 million, up from more than $28 million in 2010 and $25 million in 2009.
Some worry the practice puts too much emphasis on profit.
But law enforcement officials say seizing assets is a valid anti-crime tool with the added benefit of bolstering local and state resources. They attribute the growing amounts involved to the size and scope of cases, not a bigger emphasis on making seizures.