Morrow County Agencies Combining Forces To Fight Drugs


UPDATED: Tuesday April 1, 2014 11:04 PM

The war on drugs is a top priority for many law enforcement officials, and it has forced many agencies to consider combining resources to win the battle.

Morrow County Sheriff Steve Brenneman has taken what he calls - a necessary stance against drugs.

“Drugs are rampant throughout the area,” said Brenneman. “We've been able for the first time in quite a while to pull out one officer and just put them into drugs.”

Mount Gilead is also on board with one of its seven full-time officers, now a drug detective. And Cardington PD has recently put one of its four policemen into undercover narcotics duty.

Heavily travelled state routes and nearby Interstates puts small towns in Morrow County in the middle of the drug problem.

“I don't want to find anymore needles or syringes laying around town, like I did when I started realizing we might have a problem here,” said John Hinton, Cardington Police Chief.

Police believe that by combining one person from each agency, they'll share more information and open more investigative and surveillance options to go after bigger offenders..

“We could all take off the street level guys every day. That's not going to fix the problem. The problem is we got to get to those people that are dealing,” added Brian Zerman, Mount Gilead Police Chief.

Proof came in the form of a major win in late January. After a month-long investigation that was previously impossible, a record raid in Cardington netted more than ten pounds of pot, some ecstasy, a mushroom grow, steroids and guns.

“There's not a magic fence that protects you because you live in town, or vice versa. Mount Gilead's got a problem,” added Zerman.

“Combined we can put out a good force and tackle it,” said Brenneman.

In the coming weeks, the agencies plan to have a stand-alone bureau so all the undercover drug detectives can share work in the same space and be even more efficient in the fight.

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