Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders announced the appointment of eight people to the county drug commission at Monday’s county legislative meeting in Kansas City.

The eight appointees are assigned to COMBAT (Community Backed Anti-Drug Sales Tax), a tax supported group that fights drug interdiction, prevention and treatment programs. The group  is funded through a one-quarter cent sales tax that raises $20 million annually for the group.

The appointees are Vanessa Maxwell-Lopez, attorney with emphasis working with low-income and indigent defendants, Tony Miller, attorney with Toppito and Miller, LLC; Pam J. Petrillo, recently retired as executive director of emergency services for Blue Springs School District; Albert Riederer, former Jackson County Prosecutor and judge; Anita Russell, president of Kansas City Missouri NAACP branch; Dr. Joe Spalitto, dentist and assistant professor at UMKC School of Dentistry and Kansas City University of Medicine and Bioscience; Colin Stoner, general counsel for MLU Services, Inc.; and Scott Taylor, attorney with Miller and Company P.C. Also, one additional member will be named at a future date.

“There is no question that the work of COMBAT is necessary and vital to our community,” Sanders said. “...We will continue to improve and move COMBAT in the right direction for years to come.”

Last year, Sanders appointed a COMBAT review committee to gather ideas and suggestions from the public that have helped to set policies, strategic direction and have provided information for improving services, according to a statement released by the county.