South Metro Drug Task Force disbanding at end of November

The war on drugs in the south metro area is changing.

After 26 years, the South Metro Drug Task Force is being disbanded at the end of the month.

The task force was a multi-agency drug enforcement collaboration between Arapahoe, Douglas and Elbert counties. It was funded by local taxpayers, federal grant funds and asset forfeiture seizures.

"The decision to disband the task force was the result of an inability to assign adequate resources to sustain drug specific enforcement objectives, and consideration that investing limited resources in a crime specific task force may no longer be the most effective and efficient method of accomplishing the public safety responsibilities of drug enforcement, drug prevention and drug intervention," the South Metro Drug Task Force Board said in a news release.

The task force was involved in the notable arrest of Patrick Sullivan Jr. Their officers monitored while the former Arapahoe County Sheriff allegedly exchanged methamphetamine with an adult male in exchange for a sexual encounter.

Douglas County’s Pattern Crimes Unit said Thursday that it will grow to 10 officers and focus its resources on local drug enforcement and habitual criminals across Douglas County.

"It's a win-win situation for our residents and law enforcement agencies because we can zero-in on our issues, be more responsive and have more control over what happens across the county," Douglas County Sheriff David A. Weaver said in a news release.

"We will increase our use of cutting edge technology and strategic policing based on crime data analysis," said Weaver.

The first priority of the PCU will be to focus on drug endangered children in Douglas County, officials said.

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