Narcotics task force continues drug battle
- Posted: 11/12/2007
(Category: PNTF News)
Members of the Pennyrile Narcotics Task Force were sworn in here Wednesday to serve the 16-county agency for another year.
Director Cheyenne Albro and 15 other officers and administrative personnel currently comprise the Task Force.
PNTF covers the nine counties of the Pennyrile, Caldwell, Crittenden, Christian, Lyon, Livingston, Trigg, Todd, Muhlenberg, Hopkins, as well as Webster, Marshall, Calloway, Graves, and has just added jurisdiction in Fulton, Hickman and Carlisle counties to extend coverage west to the Mississippi River.
"The Pennyrile Narcotics Task Force is recognized across the state as the best," declared Judge/Executive Van Knight who administered the oath to the agency's officers Wednesday. They are sworn in annually in Princeton.
The Task Force has been in operation since 1988. "We were founded on a mission to support local law enforcement," Albro said.
Initially, the PNTF was the director and two agents. It has been so successful in that early mission to aid local agencies in ferreting out narcotics-related crime that PNTF has grown to its current level of manpower and had been enlisted by the Justice Department to expand into area jurisdictions outside the Pennyrile.
Knight said that the agency has not only been recognized as the best in the state, but has grown in stature to gain recognition nationwide.
Albro said that the backing of the local judge, county and city officials in Princeton made PNTF possible.
"We couldn't be in operation if it wasn't for Caldwell County," Albro said. When the agency was formed and needed police department jurisdiction, Caldwell County was the first government entity to step up and sign on, offering the law enforcement jurisdiction of this county.
"This is the true home of the task force," Albro said.
The task force utilizes local financial institutions. Agency meth grant funds were taken through Caldwell County banks with $5 million of $6 million deposited here.
Task force efforts range from operations designed to catch criminals on the street and in their laboratories to prevention activities that include information programs and most recently drug kits being offered in the county to parents who want to test children at home.
In 1998 the Pennyrile Narcotics Task Force was selected by the Bureau of Justice Assistance to administer the Methamphetamine Initiative for the 33 counties in the first congressional district.
The Task Force has dispersed over 4.5 million dollars to state and local law enforcement agencies within the first congressional district to combat the methamphetamine epidemic.
Among the group this year are four officers assigned to the Task Force from the Hopkinsville Police Department, one of the largest contingents.
"Our mission is to support local law enforcement. We wouldn't be operating without them."
Albro explained that in supporting local agencies, those agencies furnish most of the personnel that serve with the task force. "People come to us from other agencies and are employed by us," he said.
"We have an agent in this county from the Eddyville Police Department. He is doing a really good job, like the pharmacist case that was just in court."
Albro, who has been with the agency for 10 years, said that local governments, mayors, judges and county attorneys have been very supportive and cooperative, adding to the success of the agency.
The Task Force's Board of Directors is comprised of mayors, county judge/executives, sheriffs, police chiefs, prosecutors, and other interested persons representing the participating units of government. One member from each county serves on the Task Force's Executive Committee and has the responsibility of developing strategy for dealing with the narcotics problem.
Information about PNTF and Task Force programs can be found at www.pntf.us/.