Ask the Chief is a series of short articles that explain the various aspects of the operations at the Lake County Sheriff's Office. This week's topic is:
Ask the Chief…..
the establishment of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Heroin Task Force made an
impact in our community?
question is so pertinent from a very frustrated community who has felt the
impact of heroin addiction in their homes, schools and businesses. So I have asked Capt. Ronald Walters, our
Detective Bureau Commander, to speak about the progress of our Heroin Task
Force. Here is what he had to say.
the second full year of operation for the Lake County Heroin Task Force which
was formed at the end of 2014. The task force staffed by two detectives has
been active on many fronts this past year to include:
Lake County Heroin Task Force Detectives handled a total of 235 cases, 188
cases were heroin related, filed a total of 43 felony charges and 6 misdemeanor
charges. In addition through the efforts of the task force charges were filed
in a number of cases by other agencies.
County Heroin Task Force Detectives in 2016 have attended Town Hall style
meetings hosted by no profit support/awareness groups such as Clean Start and
others. Detectives have also initiated a
public awareness campaign via Facebook in which actual letters from heroin
addicted inmates are posted for their educational value and/or
teaching/discussion points with teenagers. The Task Force has also posted
educational clips detailing the effects of heroin on the human body.
Detectives has formed partnerships with private non-profit organizations such
as Clean Start to assist in getting dependent people into treatment
facilities. This program thus far has
been very beneficial especially for families who refuse to prosecute a loved
year with the passage of Senate Bill # 110 the task force detectives have
established a data base to track heroin overdoses for compliance with the
bill’s provisions. If a person does not seek treatment and provide law enforcement
with documented proof of such treatment or referral to treatment within 30 days
they may be charged.
Force has also assisted the Lake County Narcotics Agency on a number of fronts,
from running confidential informants, assisting in search warrants, conducting
surveillance, to conducting various narcotics buys. The tasks can be time
consuming and labor intensive operations to build a strong criminal case.
enhancement of the Pawn Data base, utilized to identify suspicious
transactions. More often than not the stolen items are from family members who
did not even realize they were missing. In these cases a high percentage of
families refuse to prosecute. In cases in which they do opt to prosecute the
family usually wants them to get into some type of treatment. The criminal
charge is used as leverage to accomplish this.
the Lake County Heroin Task Force will focus on assisting local law enforcement
with manpower in the battle against the heroin epidemic and continue to work on
confidential informant development to be utilized with a focus on the dealers
of controlled substances.
Force will also continue to grow and enhance existing established programs all
the while looking to find new and innovative ways to combat the heroin epidemic
in Lake County, be it through enforcement action or education and treatment. We
can make a difference when we work as one.”
Capt. Ronald Walters
Lake County Sheriff’s Office
Detective Bureau Commander