City of Florence seeks to tackle Heroin epidemic head on with own drug task force

08/19/2014 09:49 AM

FLORENCE – Drug task force units are usually reserved for police departments in larger cities like Louisville, Lexington and Covington. This leaves most smaller cities relying on regional multi-agency task forces to help in the fight against drug crimes. One Northern Kentucky city wants to change all of that.

The population of Florence is just over 31,000 – that’s less people than the capacity at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. But, as Florence is growing, so is the heroin problem and the city is taking action by establishing it’s own drug task force.

Florence City Council has given the go ahead for the police department to hire three new officers who will take the places of three veteran officers who are set to become members of the cities new drug task force.

Florence, like most cities in the Commonwealth, currently relies on multi-regional task forces which service a wide area.

“Your regional drug units, they have such a wide territory to cover and every jurisdiction wants to have attention from them,” said Florence Police Chief John McDermond. “Our focus is going to be on the low level (drug) dealers in Florence.”

The only cost to the city for the task force is the three new officers salaries which totals $135,000. All other costs associated with the task force, including vehicles and equipment, will be paid for with asset forfeiture money.


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