Citizens Help Reno Fight Drugs, Prostitution


Reno, Nevada, has expanded a four-man team of detectives working to rid downtown of drug dealers and prostitution. Now, says the Reno Journal-Gazette, 13 detectives pulled from Reno, Sparks and the University of Nevada police departments and the Washoe County Sheriff's Office make the unit regional.

With more personnel, the unit can conduct safer undercover stings daily instead of monthly and beyond Reno boundaries. “Our mission is to take an aggressive approach to drug dealers and apply constant pressure to them,” said one officer. “The key to our success is to keep drug dealers guessing. Drug dealers take chances every day that they may be selling to a cop or someone working with police…Perception is reality. If we're not arresting people every night, we're not doing our job. But that's what we're doing and we're moving every night.”

The unit relies on citizens to report drug and prostitution activity. Detectives investigate; if the tip pans out, an undercover sting is planned and executed. About five citizen complaints arrive each day. “We check out each complaint whether it's someone selling rock cocaine on the corner, someone selling ecstasy or pot to kids and try to do an undercover operation to deal with it,” said an officer.


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