Archive for Thursday, September 15, 2005

Basehor police to join anti-drug task force

September 15, 2005

A primary aim of the Basehor Police Department is to "combat drugs and crime in our city," chief Terry Horner said. Thursday night, the Basehor City Council approved another measure to help the department succeed in that task.

Council members unanimously agreed, 4-0, to participate in a $32,000 federal grant, which will be used to hire an officer to serve on a Kansas City, Kan., metropolitan area task force.

The grant money, along with approximately $3,000 from the city, will pay the salary and benefits for a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) officer. The city will receive plenty of benefits from becoming a participatory member of the anti-drug task force, Horner said.

"We have at our fingertips this task force with unlimited resources to come assist us when we request it," Horner said. He added, "It's on a playing field at a completely different level."

By joining the task force, the city now will have access to special equipment, funds and resources of numerous other departments not limited to just the federal or state bureaus of investigation.

"There are federal funds available for purchasing ... pole cameras, recording devices, analytical support and intelligence reports to include trends that may affect the city of Basehor," Horner wrote in a report to the city council.

The police department will hire the task force criminal investigator using the federal grant money allocated to the city. The officer will report to the police department and answer to the police chief, but will work indirectly with the department as a whole.

The officer's chief responsibilities will be to work with the task force by developing drug and criminal information.

"The big picture is that our criminal elements routinely cross jurisdictional boundaries and this task force has the intelligence data, experience, equipment, funds and training to deal with complex situations in and around our city," Horner wrote.

The HIDTA task force has been in place since 1988. Some area agencies involved with the task force include the Bonner Springs Police Department, Kansas City Kansas Police Department and the Wyandotte County Sheriff's Department.

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