By Joe Bachman
The city will soon be getting a full-time specialized narcotics detective.
A Human Resources Committee meeting was held on Tuesday which turned the city’s current narcotics detective/police officer hybrid position into a full-time temporary specialized narcotics detective. Two full-time narcotics detectives currently serve on the Wisconsin Rapids Police Department.
This position is paid for by a Legacy Foundation grant in the amount of $52,012.76, which was awarded last year. The grant allowed an existing officer to be utilized as a part-time narcotics detective that would become involved in community outreach and treatment options for those affected by substance abuse.
According to Interim Chief of Police Randy Jahns, the detective would help in a different approach to substance abuse and those struggling with it.
“It’s about having an officer assigned to work with them, who has the contacts for treatment facilities,” said Jahns. “We believe this is going to be the trend in law enforcement — getting these people into treatment.”
The current soon-to-be specialized detective has already been working with those affected, including developing a plan and partnering with treatment centers going forward. This also includes public education of substance abuse.
The move by the city would mean this work would continue on a full-time scale, as opposed to the current part-time schedule. While temporary, the Legacy Foundation has made a three year commitment to fund the position, and the city is hopeful that it will continue to do so years after.
“Legacy is very high on this program, said Jahns. “We believe it’s cutting edge, as do they.”