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Police-Prosecutor Drug Enforcement Teams: Innovations in Three Jurisdictions

NCJ Number
American Journal of Police Volume: 9 Issue: 1 Dated: (1990) Pages: 117-131
Date Published
15 pages
The relationship between police and prosecutors who work on drug-related cases is discussed, along with innovative programs developed to improve this relationship in Maine, New York, and Oregon.
Some factors that contribute to the cooperation gap between police investigators and prosecutors are the different vantage point of lawyers and police officers that results in different perspectives on crime and differences between police and prosecution policies and priorities. Case attrition (where an arrest is made but no charge is ever filed) has been cited as one result of poor coordination. The State of Maine created an entirely new agency that teams up investigators and prosecutors to create a more efficient and effective drug law enforcement strategy. A task force in Oregon brings together investigators and prosecutors to take on major narcotics organizations and seize traffickers' assets. In New York City, the police department and district attorney's office operate one unit that investigates and prosecutes narcotics gang-related homicides and another that deals with gang crime among Asian groups. Results indicate that the closer the working relationship between police and prosecutors, the higher the arrest and conviction rates. 2 notes, 13 references.

Date Published: January 1, 1990