Clarksville Drug Task Force is changing city and nearby communities

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by Maggie Ruper

WHAS11.com

Posted on August 17, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Updated Friday, Aug 17 at 9:05 AM

Clarksville, Ind. (WHAS11) -- A new drug task force in Clarksville is working to tackle narcotics in the city. When Mark Palmer became police chief in January he helped to start the task force. It is made up of two officers who are following tips and leads from a community that wanted change.

“People know who their neighbors are. They know who is coming and going. They know what’s going on down the street," said Palmer.

Jimmy Conklin lives on Bowne Boulevard. He witnessed a drug bust just a few doors down from his house.

“They had people laying all out in the front yard in handcuffs. It was great,” said Conklin.

Police have made 136 drug arrests so far this year. They have seized $80,000 in cash, in addition to the drugs.

Police busted two meth labs in July on the same night on Lake Drive, one right across the street from the other. They also made a major bust in April when they discovered a massive marijuana grow operation in an apartment on Harvard Drive, but they have got a bigger problem.

“We're seeing a lot of heroin come through and some of the information that we're getting is that it’s coming from Mexico,” said Palmer.

Palmer said they have more officers patrolling the streets and have been able to do more training.
“We're tickled with what’s going on,” said Conklin.

Police said their work is also benefiting other communities. They pass along any information they receive from a bust that would be pertinent to another police department or agency, in turn helping them to make drug arrests.

Police have also seized four vehicles in the drug busts this year. They can either keep those for the department or sell them. The cash is kept and distributed at the discretion of the prosecutor. It can go to the drug task force or drug education, among other options. The drugs seized are used to train the drug dogs and then destroyed.

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