The Times West Virginian

December 28, 2012

Leaders identify drug task force issues

Law enforcement groups say communication and cooperation are problems

By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — Lack of communication.

That was the reason the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department left the Harrison County Drugs and Violent Crimes Task Force a few weeks ago.

And four years ago, it was the reason the Marion County Sheriff’s Department decided it didn’t want to be part of the Three Rivers Drug Task Force in Marion County.

Marion County sheriff Joe Carpenter said when he was first elected as sheriff, he had a deputy in the task force. But when that deputy left for a job with another agency, Carpenter didn’t replace him because of what he called a lack of communication in the force. He also said he didn’t agree with some of the operations going on in the task force.

Since then, he has found another way to approach the war on drugs by sending deputies to drug training.

“We’ve sent probably 15 of our guys to a school — it’s a several-day school — learning drug work,” Carpenter said. “We’re just hitting it at a different angle.”

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