In an effort to save his embattled Opa-locka Police Department, Police Chief James Wright now has the resources of eight law enforcement agencies to battle drug dealers and armed robbers in a city with one of the nation’s highest crime rates, reports the Miami Herald. Opa-locka’s understaffed and underfunded police department now can draw from a task force that includes Miami-Dade police, the Florida Highway Patrol, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Their goal: reduce major crimes 20 percent in six months. Officers from the eight agencies will spend at least three months working alongside Opa-locka patrol officers, said Amos Rojas Jr. of the Florida law enforcement department. The cost of the operation will be borne by each agency.
Leading the task force is Major Ramon Secades, on loan from the Miami-Dade police department’s narcotics bureau. He commanded an intensive, drug sweep of the city in May after the shooting death of a little girl during a two-day gun battle. The FBI ranked the city as having one of the nation’s highest violent crime rates since 2000. Much of the crime is connected to rampant drug dealing It is an embarrassing problem for the police department, whose own officers have gotten caught up in the drug trade.