Drug Task Force

The Lancaster County Drug Task Force was formed in 1988 by the Lancaster County District Attorney Henry S. Kenderdine. The Drug Task Force is composed of Lancaster County Detectives, and municipal police officers assigned by their respective police departments to temporary duty with the Drug Task Force. Municipal officers assigned to the Drug Task Force are sworn in as special county detectives, giving them county-wide jurisdiction. Municipalities that assign officers to the Drug Task Force are reimbursed for the officer’s salary and overtime.

Other Law Agency Involvement
The Drug Task Force works closely with local law enforcement as well as the Pennsylvania State Police, the Office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other law enforcement agencies.

Duties of the Task Force
The primary focus of Drug Task Force activity is on mid to upper level drug dealers in Lancaster County; however, Drug Task Force members do assist local police departments with street level drug dealing when requested. The Drug Task Force exchanges criminal intelligence information with local, state, and federal law enforcement on a regular basis.

The Drug Task Force also monitors drug trends with respect to type, purity, and price, as well as methods of operation (MO) of drug dealers. This information is passed on to chiefs of police for tactical and strategic planning purposes. In addition, Drug Task Force members not assigned to undercover activity are available to speak to schools, civic, and business groups on drug related topics.

Funding & Support
The Lancaster County Drug Task Force is primarily funded by a voluntary one dollar per capita contribution from municipalities within Lancaster County. Most municipalities contribute in this manner. This voluntary contribution is not only recognition of the importance of the task force concept, but it demonstrates that our local governmental officials recognize that, realistically, no municipality is immune from the influence of illegal drugs and the crime associated with their use.

The Drug Task Force also receives some funding from the Office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General. In addition, the assets of drug dealers that the courts determine were acquired through unlawful activity are often forfeited to the Office of the District Attorney. Non-monetary assets such as jewelry, electronic equipment, and vehicles are sold at an annual auction held at the Lancaster County Central Park. The proceeds of the auction and any forfeited monetary assets are placed into an escrow account as provided for by P.S. 42 Pa. C.S. §6801. These funds are available for use by the District Attorney’s Office to purchase equipment or fund investigations that are directly drug related.