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Drug Task Force Leader Says Progress Being Made in Elizabethtown Area

An Elizabethtown police officer working for the Lancaster County Drug Task Force for the past year and a half has made excellent progress fighting drug trafficking in the greater Elizabethtown area, the task force’s leader told the Elizabethtown Borough Council.

Detective Sgt. John Burkhart told the Borough Council at its work session on Thursday, July 5, that the officer has gotten more than 13 warrants affecting Elizabethtown Borough, even though many of them have been for areas outside the borough limits.

“There is no jurisdictional boundary for a drug dealer,” Burkhart said.

More than $30,000 in drug dealing assets have been seized thanks to the Elizabethtown officer’s work, mostly in cash, Burkhart said. He noted that an Ephrata officer had joined the task force at about the same time and only about $8,000 in assets have been seized from that officer’s work. More guns have been seized in the Elizabethtown area than in the Ephrata area, Burkhart said.

“We’re making inroads in E-Town,” Burkhart said.

Elizabethtown Police Chief Ed Cunningham said the officer is also sharing expertise learned from the Drug Task Force with other Elizabethtown officers, such as knowledge of case law and new methods used by investigators.

In another matter, Cunningham said a continuing problem is thefts from unlocked vehicles. Items with a total value of almost $2,300 were taken from unlocked vehicles in June, he said, adding that there was only one case of theft from a locked vehicle. He said a thief broke into a vehicle to steal about $125 in cash.

Cunningham also said bicycle patrols have increased recently; he said there were 29 bike patrol shifts in June, with officers doing a lot of riding in parks.

“With that, we’ve been able to interdict some of the juvenile nonsense in the parks,” Cunningham said.

In other business, Assistant Borough Manager Ann Roda said she expects to put the contract for constructing a new public works building out to bid by July 20. Bidding should close on Aug. 10 and be ready for the Borough Council to approve a bid at its Aug. 16 meeting.

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