Klamath Falls, Ore. – A newly-formed drug team will soon be putting the heat on drug dealers in Klamath County.
City Police Chief David Henslee says the Klamath County drug team will operate out of the Klamath Falls Police Department. “It’s looking like it will be two detectives from Klamath Falls, two detectives from Oregon State Police,” said Henslee.
The drug team is slated to include members from Klamath County parole and probation, and the Klamath County District Attorney’s Office. However, the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office will not be taking part. Sheriff Frank Skrah says that’s due to a tight budget. “If I had the money to be able to put a deputy on the street, to be on the drug team, I would do it. I’d put two. I’d put ten if I could,” said Skrah.
Lieutenant Jason Westfall of the Oregon State Police notes the drug team will also work to stop drugs like methamphetamine and heroin from entering the state. Westfall said, “Those things are on the rise. And as far as Highway 97, it’s been a corridor.”
Captain Ryan Brosterhous of the Klamath Falls Police Department believes the drug team will help to lower other crime as well. “It will stop other thefts, other burglaries, other property crimes that are just a residual effect of drug crimes in general,” said Brosterhous.
Chief Henslee says the officers and funding for his part of the team are already in place. “We’re going to roll out our portion of the drug team the first week of April,” said Henslee.
Klamath County has been without a drug team for the past 8 years. The Klamath Interagency Narcotics Team shut down in 2008 due to budget cuts.