Law Enforcement Detectives
UNITE employs two full-time detectives who are permanently assigned to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration as Special Agents in the London Residency Office. Their daily responsibilities include conducting mid- to upper-level investigations.
In addition, UNITE employs a Law Enforcement Manager who oversees the Medication Drop Box program and prescription drug take-back days, toll-free Drug Tip Line, and works directly with city, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.
Detectives conduct criminal drug investigations, many of which originate from out-of-state drug trafficking rings, and assist in the prosecution of drug traffickers. Many departments, especially at the local level, do not have the necessary funding, manpower, or specialized equipment to pursue drug investigations on their own.
UNITE’s law enforcement officers are engaged with helping individuals receive treatment, supporting recovery through Drug Courts, promoting the UNITE Treatment Voucher Program and KY HELP Statewide Call Center, educating youth and adults about the dangers of drugs, assisting with youth prevention initiatives, and supporting families who have been impacted because of a loved one’s substance use.
UNITE is a partner with Kentucky National Guard counter-drug initiative.
When Congressman Hal Rogers created UNITE’s three-pronged approach in 2003, our initial focus was to implement a strong regional law enforcement presence concentrating primarily on street-level investigations. Regular roundups of drug suspects quickly helped to spread word about UNITE and cast light on this terrible scourge infecting our region.
In 2005, UNITE became only the second drug task force in the state to be accredited by the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police (KACP). The task force – at one time 32 detectives strong – operated under an interlocal agreement giving them arrest powers in each county within UNITE’s service region. Detectives focused on quality drug interdiction, confiscation and undercover operations in conjunction with city, county, state and federal police agencies. KACP Accreditation was maintained until 2015.
UNITE’s first roundup took place on April 6, 2004, with police seeking 210 suspected drug dealers in the eight-county Kentucky River area. At the time it was the largest such operation in Kentucky’s history. On October 28, 2009, UNITE had one-fifth of the cases in “Operation Flamingo Road” – a federal, state and local law enforcement effort to arrest 518 individuals suspected of obtaining and/or distributing prescription pills from Florida.
From inception through 2015, UNITE’s Drug Task Force detectives:
- Removed nearly $12.6 million worth of drugs from the street.
- Arrested nearly 4,500 individuals.
- Achieved a conviction rate of 97.2%.