Grand Junction Police Propose Street Crimes Unit

The Grand Valley has the services of the Mesa County Methamphetamine Task Force, as well as the DEA Western Colorado Drug Task Force to combat meth use and distribution.
On Monday, Grand Junction Interim Police Chief Bill Gardner laid the foundation for a unit looking to further impact meth crimes at the neighborhood level.
While much of the DEA drug task force's work is undercover, the meth street crimes unit will be a visible uniformed presence. Monday's presentation was simply a layout for what's to come and Chief Gardner says the city has already witnessed a similar presence.
In the late fall of 2005 when uniformed law enforcement was out in full force searching for fugitive Sam Lincoln, Gardner says meth-related crimes, which includes theft, plummeted.
While it is still undetermined how many officers would be assigned to the unit, their strict focus on the meth problem would expand the reach of law enforcement.
Gardner adds that national studies show the combination of a drug task force and a local crimes unit significantly decreases the amount of crime generated by methamphetamine use.
At a later date, Chief Gardner will ask the city for $209,000 to start up the task force, which includes the hiring of four officers and two new patrol vehicles.
The Grand Junction Police Department will also do several experiments this summer to see what tactics will be effective.