(WBNG) — When there are cases too large or too complex for one department in Broome County, they are handed over to the Broome County Special Investigations Unit Task Force.
The unit was created almost 20-years-ago by current Broome County Sheriff David Harder to fight the growing influx of drugs. Sheriff Harder says the unit has been extremely successful, and is only getting better.
“For the year 2018, the task force made 1295 charges on people, and that’s for all kinds of crimes,” said Sheriff Harder. “They also did 414 search warrants, confiscated 27 illegal weapons and took 196,000 dollars from the drug people.”
The unit is composed of 15 members from the Binghamton, Johnson City and Endicott Police Departments, as well as the Broome County Sheriff’s Office.
The Binghamton police chief said it is through this collaboration, as well as the unit’s work with confidential informants and the general community, that has made the unit so successful.
“Back in the day, there was a lot of territorial stuff going on,” said Chief Joseph Zikuski. “Now, when you’re all one team you know there’s Binghamton guys making arrests in Endciott, Endicott investigator may get information in the city of Binghamton. It’s a win-win for everybody.”
Sheriff Harder said 95 percent of the task force’s investigations involve narcotics, but it also handles cases on gambling, homicides and other violent crimes.