Alerting police to drug activity just takes a phone call

April 28, 2001|By KELLY GRANT, Staff Writer

The El Centro Police Department, in its effort to combat drugs on the street, is asking residents to call its drug tip line to report suspicious drug activity in their neighborhoods.

If callers wish to identify themselves and want to be contacted by police, they can request it, although Detective Dub Perkins assures "we're not going to try to get in touch with someone who's anonymous."

Callers don't have to give their names.

"It's very important (that neighbors get involved) because a lot of times we don't see it," said Detective Luis Hernandez.

In a small community such as El Centro, many people know who the police officers are, making it hard for officers to infiltrate certain groups, Perkins said.

However, drug dealers and buyers may not be as cautious when officers aren't around.

Officers ask that residents take note of suspicious activities such as a lot of people coming to and going from a location. Details like license plate numbers and physical descriptions of people can be useful to officers.


And just because cop cars don't immediately raid the location doesn't mean El Centro police aren't working on the case. Other agencies may be investigating or El Centro may have its own investigation going, Hernandez said.

"It's helpful (when people call in). Sometimes it confirms what we already know," Perkins said.

The tip line, in existence for about two years, is just another way El Centro police fight drugs in the community.

"We do have a street team here. We are concerned about the so-called common street dealer," said Sgt. Mike Crankshaw.

The tip line is 353-DRUG (3784).

Staff Writer Kelly Grant can be reached at 337-3441.

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