– The City of Greenfield has long been acutely aware of a need to be proactive in the area of illegal narcotics enforcement. Narcotics-related violations not only degrade the quality of life of a community in general, they also contribute significantly to peripheral criminal activities such as thefts, robberies, assaults and other serious personal crimes which all create fear and further harm. Whenever possible, the Detective Division has maintained a cadre of officers whose focus lies in the complex legal arena of investigating and enforcing controlled substance violations. Each investigator receives specialized training in the areas of drug recognition, surveillance operations, legal and case law as well as related updates, search warrant preparation and execution, handling of confidential informants, presumptive evidence testing, recent trend updates and numerous other specific areas. Our investigators become true specialists and several have been recognized and allowed by both state and federal courts to testify as experts in the field. At present Detective Kevin Rowell is assigned as the Divisions’ lead narcotics investigator. He is highly proactive and very involved in investigations both within Greenfield and throughout the Hampshire and Franklin county areas through the Departments involvement in the regional drug task force. Capably supervised by Detective Lieutenant Joseph Burge and assisted by Detective Todd Clark, the unit has proven to be highly energetic and effective.
The Greenfield Police Department has acted as the administrative entity for Hampshire-Franklin Narcotics Task Force operations and fiscal management since its resurrection in the fall of 1999. Since that time Captain John Newton has acted as Executive Officer for Task Force operations and has been responsible for grant submission and reporting as well as for day-to-day operations. Comprised of a cooperative effort involving 32 Hampshire and Franklin county law enforcement agencies, the Massachusetts State Police Narcotics Unit and the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, the Task Force continues to stand ready to assist any community within the two county area. Greenfield, being authorized by mutual agreement of participating agencies to assume the lead role in coordinating and overseeing Task Force operations, has helped to ensure that many communities have reaped the benefits of a group of dedicated and knowlegeable investigators working closely together over the years. The Hampshire-Franklin Narcotics Task Force has been the recipient of federal Edward J. Byrne grant funds awarded and administered by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security each year since 1999. This grant has been applied for annually by the Greenfield Police Department on behalf of the participating agencies based on input from its investigators on the ground advising what focal areas the funding needs to be allocated to. Funding provides the ability to pay for much that would otherwise be unaffordable such as overtime for extensive investigative efforts and shift replacement to allow investigators to do what they do best while maintaining shift coverage in their respective agencies. Funding has also purchased investigative equipment over time to include night vision units, surveillance cameras and recorders, secure radios dedicated to Task Force communications, protective equipment for officers, advanced training as well as community education and outreach programs. Even during difficult fiscal times and the potential for absence of grant funding, the Task Force lives through the dedication of commanding officers of agencies involved and even moreso due to that of the individual officers.