Harlan County Sheriff's New Spin On Drug Roundups

By: Eric Eckstrom Email
By: Eric Eckstrom Email

Talk to any deputy at the Harlan County Sheriff’s Office, and they'll tell you that enforcing drug laws can be a dangerous business

“There's always that possibility when we go to arrest somebody that there may be firearms there may be needles on them we could get poked with the needles and 9 times out of 10 when we are busting them for drugs they may be under the influence of those drugs,” said Mitchell Alford.

Dangerous or not, it's a job that must be done, which is why deputies are constantly thinking of new ways to make arrests. Thursday, they conducted a drug roundup at night, as opposed to the traditional morning hour.

“Tonight’s idea was actually my Road Units. It was there idea to do this and I sat and thought about it and said ‘hey, that's a good idea’,” said Marvin Lipfird.

Law enforcement traditionally likes to make arrests in the morning when they know the suspects are sleeping. However, criminals caught on to what they were doing and so they would send spies out to the Sheriff’s Office and look for a congregation of cars that would meet outside the office early in the morning. They would see that, call their buddies, let them know what was going on and everyone would avoid arrest.

The arrests we saw seemed to go smoothly. As to what future changes will be made to adjust to the ever evolving criminal. The sheriff has a simple message:

Lipfird said, “I sort of equate it to a baseball game. Every time you get by with it, you get a run; every time you do it and I catch you, I get a run. So don't be surprised when we come knocking at your door.”

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