POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 51 NEW GLASGOW - However contentious borders are in this county, there is one group that ignores them completely: drug traffickers. They’ll be one of the primary focuses - specific organizations and specific individuals - of a seven-officer, multi-departmental police team, which is slated to start its duties at the beginning of April. “That’s going to be our first area of enforcement,” said New Glasgow police chief Lorne Smith. Its formation fills a niche in policing, which in this county, has been without adequate resources for a number of years. The unit will also focus on organized crime. Up until recently, the closest police department able to dedicate a unit towards drug trafficking, was Halifax. “The information we’re obtaining is that this was an area that was ripe for enforcement because there didn’t appear to be any fear of being caught, and there didn’t appear to be any fear for what would happen if you did get caught,” Smith said. On a smaller level, police also believe that a high percentage of violent crimes, are in some way connected to drug use or trafficking. “One of the reasons why we identified the need (to focus on drugs) - from the chiefs in Pictou County and myself - we’re saying a lot of the break and enters, the thefts, are all related to drugs. You go back to the drug user, wanting to supply his or her habit,” said Staff Sgt. Ross Landry of the Pictou County District RCMP. Beyond police, Landry said the community needs to speak out about drugs in their area, “To say that we’re not going to tolerate drugs in our community, illicit activity in your community.” “When there are drugs in the community, that’s because there is a certain tolerance to allow it to be here.” Smith said police in Pictou County have been able to make headway, employing joint-force operations. A joint operation between RCMP, New Glasgow and Trenton police departments resulted in a drug bust Monday. Police confiscated quantities of crack cocaine, marijuana, cocaine and ecstasy tablets in that venture. But while they make a dent in the drug scene, their effects aren’t always permanent. “In the past, we have done joint forces operations, targeting specific individuals in relation to illegal drugs - and they have been successful.” But Smith adds, “You do your job, you reach that level of success - and eight months later, your problem is right back where it was.” “We need the bad guys to know that if they perform their function in Pictou County they’re going to be caught and they’re going to be prosecuted. And they need to understand that it’s not going to be a temporary thing.” “And we’ll be going after them full bore.” Smith, along with other municipal chiefs and members of the Pictou County District RCMP will also strike a joint management team to oversee the police unit. The unit will be housed within the New Glasgow Police Services building. BY SEAN KELLY - The News - March 1, 07 New police team on the streets soon As originally published