Caddo-Shreveport Narcotics Unit Celebrates 10th Anniversary
The Caddo-Shreveport Narcotics Unit marks its 10th year in existence this weekend.
Leaders of both the Caddo Sheriff's Office and Shreveport Police Department say the merger of the two departments' drug units a decade ago was a successful move that continues to benefit the community today.
"The citizens of Caddo Parish, including Shreveport, expect government to serve them efficiently and effectively," says Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator in a CSO news release. "Ten years of combining our narcotics units have proved the whole is indeed greater than the sum of the parts."
Sheriff Prator tells KEEL News a lot has been done in the past decade. "We've not only worked more efficiently and been more effective in the number of arrests and the amount of drugs we've seized and the amount of money we've seized," Prator says. "But the unseen part of it is that we've had a lot of duplication of effort thathas been eliminated, a lot of money that's been saved for the taxpayers."
The merger was official March 8th, 2004, just over a year after CPSO and SPD combined their financial crimes units. "The goal of a joint narcotics unit was to better manage our time and investigative efforts," says Shreveport Police Chief Willie Shaw. "There was often a duplication of services where the sheriff's office and the police department were targeting the same offenders. By combining our resources, both agencies were able to make more efficient use of citizens' tax dollars."
Over the past 10 years, agents have made 7,644 arrests, executed 945 search warrants, seized 1,171 weapons and confiscated nearly $6-million in cash. The total value of the drugs seized is estimated at $14,680,716.
Working under the same roof isn’t the only change agents have seen in the last decade. The types of drugs they find on the streets are changing, too. In 2007, agents seized a new form of heroin called “cheese” that was blamed for the deaths of numerous teen-agers in the Dallas area. Local agents seized about 93 grams of the drug, marijuana, meth, heroin, cash, and guns.
In 2013, they recovered 34 pounds of synthetic marijuana and $634,482 in cash during a long-term investigation that ended with state charges.
What does Sheriff Prator see in the future for the task force? "I hope it'll continue like this forever," he says. "Our narcotics, our financial crimes, our SRT teams work together very well."