Magazine article Law & Order

Benefits of Task Forces

Magazine article Law & Order

Benefits of Task Forces

Article excerpt



Find out what drives the crime rate in your area. Join a task force for that type of enforcement. Or form one on your own. A bi-county, tri-county or quad-county task force can take a bite out of crime.. .and have zero tax dollars' specialty vehicles to prove it.

By LAW and ORDER Staff

The Belvidere, 111. Police recently showed off some of the tangible benefits of joining state and federal task forces. The seized assets were sold and the asset seizure funds were used to purchase a GMC tactical response/multi-use vehicle and two Dodge Durango K9 vehicles. What the asset seizure did not show was the solution of complex cases and the suppression, reduction or displacement of crime, which was also a result of the various task forces.

With nearly every department short staffed by 5 to 20 percent, the decision to give up an officer to a joint task force may be a difficult one. Even if the police or sheriff's administration sees the value to it, others may not. These others may include city or county council members, the mayor, or county commissioners. Tangible assets that can be seized and fund law enforcement projects are just one benefit. A possibly greater benefit is a real reduction of crime for the local jurisdiction.

Joint task forces are often the only way to solve complex, long-term cases or cross-jurisdictional or regional criminal operations. Typically, the understaffed local department just doesn't have the resources to tackle these kinds of timeconsuming cases. To make a dent in these larger, regional crimes, a regional approach is needed. The most common multiple jurisdiction, joint task force is, of course, the regional task force.

"Drugs are the root of all evil," said David Ernest, Belvidere, 111. Police Deputy Chief of Operations and Sheriff-elect of Boone County, 111. The federal drug task that resulted in three expensive vehicles for the Belvidere Police also included the Boone Coimty Sheriff's Dept., the Rockford, 111. Police, and the Illinois State Police. These agencies have been a part of the DEA joint task force since 1999. …

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