Pubdate: Wed, 30 May 2007
Source: Daily Courier (Prescott, AZ)
Copyright: 2007 Prescott Newspapers, Inc.
Author: Ken Hedler
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


War On Drugs

PRESCOTT VALLEY - Declaring a war on methamphetamine and other drugs, 
Mayor Harvey Skoog on Tuesday discussed the formation of a two-person 
narcotics enforcement team in the Prescott Valley Police Department.

"Our goal is to get drug dealers out of town," Skoog said during a 
20-minute press conference. He noted Prescott Valley police made 711 
narcotics arrests in 2006.

However, Skoog downplayed a proposal that he listed in a memo dated 
May 21: The creation of a tent city to house people convicted of drug 
and alcohol offenses.

Acknowledging that Yavapai County jails in Prescott and the Verde 
Valley have an ample number of beds, Skoog said the proposal The 
Daily Courier reported Monday was merely a suggestion.

Instead, Skoog used the press conference to promote the narcotics 
unit, which is due to start July 1. The Town Council voted this past 
Thursday to approve a $111.5 million tentative budget for 2007-08 
that would pay for the two officers, used vehicles and other equipment.

Police Chief Dan Schatz, who did not attend the press conference, 
requested $153,820 in the 2007-08 budget, which starts July 1, for 
the narcotics unit. Schatz previously stated that the short-term goal 
of the unit is to increase drug arrests by 30 percent.

Skoog said, "We are always trying to be 100 percent on top of that 
(drug problem)." He said culprits "will have to suffer the consequences."

Turning to Police Cmdr. P.J. Janik, Skoog said, "You are going to get 

The unit will work closely with law enforcement officers assigned to 
the county Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking, Skoog said. Janik 
said the police department assigns a sergeant and a detective to the 
task force.

Skoog cited other efforts that the town will use to fight drugs, 
including the hiring in late January of Lily McCormack as 
neighborhood services coordinator. He also mentioned reviving bicycle 
patrols in the town.

The department has used bike patrols occasionally in the past, Janik said.

The drug-fighting campaign will make Prescott Valley "a very 
uncomfortable place" for drug dealers to do business, Town Manager 
Larry Tarkowski said.

Tarkowski said the best way to reduce the demand for drugs is to 
reach younger children with the DARE program, which stands for Drug 
Abuse Resistance Education.

DARE is marking its 10th anniversary in Prescott Valley, Janik said.

"Quite frankly, I think it is a great investment," Janik said.

Janik also described DUI roadblocks and saturation patrols as effective tools.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom