Our Opinion: Taking on the streets

August 29, 2001

The Imperial Valley has a new crime fighting force and it's already making a difference on the streets in communities throughout the Valley. The team is called the Street Interdiction Team and its goal is to stop the trafficking of drugs at the street level.

We would like to credit those whose hard work and foresight led to the creation of the interdiction team. Calexico Police Chief Tommy Tunson had the initial idea to seek the federal funding that would pay for the team. He was joined by El Centro Police Chief Raymond Loera and Brawley police Lt. Henry Graham in authoring the grant proposal.

Ultimately all local police chiefs and the county sheriff deserve credit for supporting the effort to bring such an anti-drug unit to the Valley.

As Tunson pointed out, this is the first time the Imperial Valley has had such a specialized unit — one that will not do prolonged narcotic investigations but will attempt to stamp out drugs one small street bust at a time.


While there likely is little chance to stop drug abuse outright, having a unit on the streets whose purpose is to go after the street dealers can help make our streets safer. That is better for youths who at times must walk past areas on their way to school where drugs are sold.

As Tunson said, it is going to take a two-pronged approach if the effort to knock down drug abuse is going to work. There has to be a continued law enforcement effort, but there also has to be increased education to cut the demand.

If those in law enforcement continue to find programs that help attack illegal drug dealing and use and there is a stepped up education effort, we may see a future in which both the supply and demand are diminished.

The interdiction team is a good step and it sends a positive message to the people of the Imperial Valley. The message is that police are committed to making our streets as safe as possible.

They are out there, watching and protecting. They may not get all the dealers, but then again, they may get enough to make a difference in our lives.

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