The Journal-News newspaper, which covers Rockland, Putnam and Westchester counties, printed an editorial on May 15 praising the efforts of New York State Troopers, federal and local law enforcement officers who recently joined together to successfully execute Rockland County’s biggest drug bust in two years. The PBA congratulates the Troopers and all law enforcement officers who participated in this drug bust, and appreciates The Journal-News’ editorial praising the efforts. The editorial is shown below.
Police ‘networking’ works
(Original publication: May 15, 2005)
The best police gumshoes have always known that "networking" is a successful way to develop information, sources and eventual arrests. We are pleased to see a modern-day version of such ancient craft among agents of the Rockland Narcotics Task Force.
Indeed, staff writer Greg Clary reports, the county’s biggest drug bust in two years recently happened because law enforcement officers are networking with each other these days as much as the drug dealers they’re chasing.
Agents from the Narcotics Task Force worked with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in the New York metropolitan area to bust up what is estimated to have been a $3-million-a-year cocaine ring.
State Police Capt. Joseph Tripodo, who presently heads the county task force, noted that about 100 police officers working with the unit knocked on suspects’ doors from Spring Valley to Ulster County and in New York City at 6 a.m. to make sure no one was able to spread the word quickly. "We didn’t want somebody to call the guys and tell them about the search warrants," he added.
Rockland agents regularly contacted their counterparts in New York City and elsewhere using walkie-talkies to notify other jurisdictions about sales and movements of cocaine, relying on networking and electronic surveillance much more than on drug purchases by undercover cops.
As a result, the Rockland efforts show that a year-old strategy designed to target 15 counties with 80 percent of the state’s crime is working, part of a program called Operation IMPACT.
"If you take out a drug network, you have far more impact," said Michael Bongiorno, the Rockland district attorney. "That’s what we focused on here, using the multijurisdictional resources to accomplish that goal."
With the advent of cell phones and computers, criminal networks are becoming more technologically advanced and flexible, and their networks go beyond, say, just Rockland. Law enforcement networking is crucial.
Actually, the Rockland example has been replicated across the state in recent years and has produced more than a 50 percent decrease in crime in the last 10, according to Chauncey Parker, New York’s director of criminal justice services.
"When you compare, in 1994, the number of crime victims in New York state to the number of crime victims in 2004, there are 400,000 fewer victims of crime in just those two years alone. There’s 86,000 fewer victims of violent crime just in those two years alone," he added.
Good work, people.