ADA — Since its debut in December 2005, the Ada Police Department Narcotics Investigations Unit has arrested more than 50 people on nearly 130 drug related charges, and have at least three outstanding arrest warrants waiting to be served.

According to Assistant Police Chief Carl Allen, the Narcotics Investigations Unit was a concept of several people within the police department and the city administration. Allen said several months ago the department reached a point within its investigations unit that it became difficult to devote the necessary time to work illegal drug intelligence. Allen said patrol officers were arresting enough people for possession of illegal drugs that the department knew the problem was in need of attention.

Detective Captain Tommy Cosper proposed the idea of implementing a narcotics unit with the sole purpose of combating illegal drugs. Allen said he, Police Chief Mike Miller, City Manager David Hathcoat, and City Attorney Alvin Files believed this was a necessary endeavor and decided to move towards the establishment of the unit.

In May, 2005, Allen said things began to fall into place and Detective Captain Jeff Crosby was placed in charge of the unit.

"Crosby’s experience in investigations and particularly drug investigations is unrivaled in our department," Allen said.

Narcotics investigators were chosen in August 2005, based upon qualifications, desire and recommendation of the investigation promotion board.

Allen said no additional funding was provided for this unit. The costs associated with its operations are part of the department’s normal operating budget.

Narcotics investigators receive training involving investigation techniques as well as trends in the world of illegal drug activity, Allen said.

"The SWAT team is of particular use to us when we have numerous locations to raid in a short time or when we have prior knowledge of weapons, threats or information leading us to believe that we may encounter resistance," Crosby said. "Other times they may be used if it happens to be a training day. They enjoy it and it is the best type of training."

Crosby said the main roadblock facing the unit had been developing credible and reliable sources of information.

By promoting CRIMESTOPPERS as a way to call and give information anonymously, Crosby said the problem has currently been overcome. Calls to CRIMESTOPPERS coupled with informant tips created a wealth of information that has led to numerous recent arrests, he said.

Crosby said eight of 10 arrests made by the Narcotics Unit originate from residents’ tips. 

Overall, the community's response to the new unit and its aggressive tactics against drugs have been positive.

"The goal of the unit is to work with the Ada Police Department and Ada's citizens to eradicate the illegal use, abuse and sales of illicit and prescription drugs within the city," Allen said. "I’ve heard only favorable feedback from our citizens so far."

Crosby urges residents with knowledge of illegal drug activity to call CRIMESTOPPERS at 332-2824. He said it is particularly helpful if callers can be specific with information regarding who, what, when, where, vehicles, customers’ names, etc. 

"The more info, the better," Crosby said.