During the regular Vancouver City Council meeting on August 1, the Vancouver City Council unanimously voted to approve the withdrawal of the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) from the Clark-Vancouver Drug Task Force.
In early July, Vancouver Police Chief Jeff Mori provided Clark County Sheriff Chuck Atkins a courtesy notice of the intent to discontinue the VPD’s participation in the Clark/Vancouver Regional Drug Task Force (DTF). Following last night’s City Council Meeting, Chief Mori will provide Clark County a formal six month written notice to withdraw from the DTF.
“We didn’t come to this decision lightly, but with a 27% increase in police reports since 2020, about 70 per day, combined with our current staffing shortages, we need to focus all of our law enforcement resources on the Vancouver community,” Chief Mori said. “I believe it is in the best interest of the City of Vancouver and our community to return the DTF resource back to VPD in support of addressing the increasing crime issues our community is experiencing.”
Established in 1982, the DTF is a multi-agency drug enforcement team designed to identify, investigate and disrupt or dismantle drug trafficking organizations working in Clark County. The Vancouver Police Department has dedicated a varied number of detectives to the DTF since its inception. Currently, the VPD has one detective assigned to the task force.
Currently, drug-related investigations in Vancouver are handled by Detectives from the Vancouver Police Neighborhood Response Team and officers within the Patrol division who frequently investigate individuals involved in smaller scale drug sales and distribution. The Vancouver Safe Streets Task Force, which partners with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), focuses on identifying and arresting individuals associated with violent crime, of which the drug trafficking nexus is a significant component. These units will continue to handle those investigations and the plan is to assign the VPD detective that is currently in the DTF to one of the VPD investigative units to assist with the growing workload.
Source: Vancouver City Council