The Narcotics Investigations Section includes the HIDTA Task Force, Tactical Drug Unit, Organized Crime/Vice Unit, Technical Services Unit and the Narcotics Unit.
The HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Traffic Area) Task Force is a federally funded grant consisting of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Lakeland Police Department, Haines City Police Department, Auburndale Police Department, Bartow Police Department, Winter Haven Police Department, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Detectives from other agencies are sworn by the Sheriff to enforce the laws in the county as well as their own jurisdictions. The HIDTA grant was designed for the 1-4 corridor drug traffic area. The corridor consists of every county connected to I-4. The grant allows monies for training, equipment, purchasing evidence, and payment of confidential informants. Click here for information on Methamphetamine.
The Tactical Drug Unit responsibilities include buy busts, street level reverse stings, highway drug interdiction and hotel and motel interdictions. Detectives conduct regular checks for narcotics in schools, during traffic enforcement, and in package handling facilities. The unit coordinates and assists other organifzations and local police departments in combating street level drug crimes. Recruitment of informants to help remove narcotic producers and violators from the streets is essential.
The Organized Crime/Vice Unit is responsible for investigating and enforcing local, state, and federal laws as they relate to narcotic organizations. The unit works in conjunction with many agencies to accomplish this. They also work long-term protracted cases, those involving multiple persons or jurisdictions, those of a historical nature, and those involving oral, wire, and/or video intercepts and smuggling.
The Narcotics Unit detectives identify, investigate, and infiltrate street level to mid-level narcotics dealers and their organizations within Polk County. The narcotics detectives work closely with other units within the Bureau of Special Investigations as well as local, state, and federal authorities.
All law enforcement officers receive basic narcotics identification training in the police academy. Once at the Bureau of Special Investigations, they receive hands on training during a six-week period with their training instructor. Furthermore, detectives attend an 80-hour narcotics course sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Specialized advanced training is also obtained through private and federal agencies. Additionally, the Narcotics Investigation Section is responsible for drug enforcement in municipalities within Polk County which do not have drug enforcement capabilities. Detectives are often called to conduct undercover drug investigations inside cities which have their own police departments.