Narcotics team in Coos County down in numbers, faces challenges

(File photo/SBG)

COOS BAY, Ore. -- The South Coast Interagency Narcotics Team is down in numbers and facing several challenges.

The SCINT team works to keep illegal drugs off the street.

Since last April, they've operated with a police captain, detective and administrative support.

"Ultimately, just about any one of any operations that we do requires more than just two people,” explains SCINT director, Captain Cal Mitts, “so, how we're able to do that and make up for that, at least at this time, is sometimes our missions have to be put on hold because we just don't have the resources to do them."

In the past, they've had up to six members.

The biggest hurdle is funding.

“It's probably been now about eight years since SCINT has received a federal grant, and year after year for the last two to three years, Oregon has been excluded from receiving any of the federal funding."

But even with limited resources, they've been successful.

"In the last 18 months, SCINT has either seized or been involved in the seizure of over 27 pounds. That 27 pounds represents over 1,020 individual doses of just meth that we have seized. That's more than last 10 years combined"

"SCINT may soon get a helping hand from the coos county sheriff's office."

Says Coos County Sheriff Craig Zanni: "I have people I could put there, but I have so many new people; I need them here to train those new people, so I can't spare them right now. Our plan is to get somebody back assigned over there."

For now, Mitts and his small team will continue efforts to counter illegal drug activity.

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