Pubdate: Sun, 03 Jan 2010
Source: Walton Tribune, The (GA)
Copyright: 2010 The Walton Tribune
Author: Robbie Schwartz, The Walton Tribune
Note: MAP archives articles exactly as published, except that our editors 
may redact the names and addresses of accused persons who have not been 
convicted of a crime, if those named are not otherwise public figures or 


It was a number that was provided of a suspected drug dealer known to
provide methamphetamine and prescription pills in the Monroe area.

Once before, undercover officers tried to make arrangements to meet
the suspected dealer. Those plans fell through, but in December
members of the Monroe Police Department Field Investigations Team were
able to meet with [neme redacted], 30, of Conyers. Meeting in the
parking lot of the local Wal-Mart, a purchase was made by an
undercover officer and [name redacted] was arrested shortly afterwards
during a traffic stop.

The result was [name redacted] in jail, charged with sale of
methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, possession of
drug-related materials and lesser charges of possession of
prescription pills not being kept in their original containers.

With the year recently complete, FIT team members see 2009 as another
success in their short, two-year history.

"Our Field Investigations Team evolved from the need to have a
deployable asset at all times," MPD Chief Keith Glass said.

The team consists of Sgt. Chae Chandler and cpls. Tracy Hanson and
John Drossman, as well as their respective K-9s. Started in 2003 as
the Street Crimes Unit, the team's primary focus is street-level drug
enforcement but can be re-directed at any time "based on the needs of
our department and community," Glass said. They often respond to
callouts to assist other law enforcement agencies in the county
because they are the only local K-9 units in addition to their
street-level buys. The FIT team, in addition to serving as the city
police department's narcotics team, also helps execute search warrants
with the MPD Special Emergency Response Team.

The first year was a banner year for the team, with 211 arrests made
and 153 felony charges filed. There was also more than $30,000 seized.
This year, with December's numbers not finalized, the FIT team has
been called out 98 times -- one less than 2008 -- made 107 arrests and
filed 165 felony charges with more than $15,000 seized.

"Our FIT team has been very successful over the past two years and has
had a major impact on street level drugs during this time," Glass
said. "The stats tell a success story but also indicates the
tremendous challenge we face. We are dealing with more and more
street-level selling of prescription drugs; it seems some think that
as long as somebody has a prescription for it that it is OK to sell
them to anyone. FIT has worked closely with our Uniform Patrol in
fighting street level drugs sells as well developing new methods of
combating these and other street crimes.

"The coming year will bring new challenges as well as those that are
ever present. We are working and developing courses of action for
these challenges. I wish I could say we will end the street level drug
business in 2010. We can't.

"But we will deter it by keeping relentless pressure on those in the
drug pushing business." 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jo-D