Cops shelve Street Crimes Unit, for now

In 2008, the unit made 151 felony arrests, 201 misdemeanor arrests and 87 fugitive warrant arrests.

The Grand Junction Police Department temporarily has scrapped a small team of officers tasked with busting street-level drug dealing as the agency copes with the loss of personnel elsewhere.

The department’s Street Crimes Unit — four officers along with a sergeant — was reassigned in early February to patrol duty when three patrol officers left the department for other jobs, police spokeswoman Kate Porras said.

“We can expect a dip in drug arrests,” Porras said, “but we’re taking care of things the best we can. We’d certainly like to have a fully staffed Street Crimes Unit.”

With budget reductions eyed at the city level, Porras said the department was unable to backfill the positions.

She declined further comment on the recent turnover among patrol officers, citing personnel issues.

“They’re pursuing other interests,” she said.

Help is on the way, though.

Porras said the Street Crimes Unit should be up and running “in one or two months” when four officers and a sergeant, now department trainees, are deemed ready to hit the street.

The moves should allow personnel to return to their regular positions.

“It was all bad timing with officers leaving, trainees not quite ready to go on patrol,” Porras said.

The local Street Crimes Unit during 2008 boasted 151 felony arrests, 201 misdemeanor arrests and 87 fugitive warrant arrests, according to a department year-end report.

They seized some two pounds of meth, five pounds of marijuana and 157 grams of cocaine.

Formed in January 2007, the unit was touted by police officials early on as a success, primarily focused on street-level drug dealing.

In its first five months, the unit claimed to have made 80 felony arrests.


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