Warren pulls cops from COMET

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Sep 20, 2006
S.E. Michigan
Warren pulls cops from COMET

New commissioner says drug squad gave city short shrift

[FONT=Arial, Helvetica]By Norb Franz[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica]Macomb Daily Staff Writer[/FONT]

The Warren Police Department has withdrawn its officers from a multi-agency undercover police squad after several years of participation.

New Police Commissioner William Dwyer said the County of Macomb Enforcement Team did not give enough attention to Warren and therefore the two detective positions provided by the city to COMET will concentrate instead on Warren's streets and not other communities.

"I don't know if you want to call it a business decision," he said Wednesday, "but it's a decision to enhance the Warren Police Department's ability to do more about drug enforcement in the city."

One of the Warren detectives assigned to COMET was promoted to sergeant and assigned as a patrol division supervisor weeks ago. Warren commanders, prior to Dwyer's arrival in Warren from Farmington Hills police where he served as chief, did not immediately fill his slot.

The Macomb Daily is not publishing the name of the other officer as he continues as a COMET undercover officer until next week. That officer will transfer to Warren's detective bureau.

The withdrawal was unexpected, a COMET commander said.
"We're surprised. Warren has been very, very supportive of COMET in the past. They've been a partner for many years," said Lt. Robert Honey of the Michigan State Police.

Current membership in the undercover team, which primarily tackles drug traffickers but also conducts surveillance of other criminal activity, includes four Macomb County Sheriff deputies, seven state police officers, an FBI agent and one officer each from the Clinton Township, Roseville, St. Clair Shores and Harper Woods police departments.

Honey said the loss of Warren's two officers will be detrimental to COMET, particularly because one served the unit for nine years and was the lead surveillance officer. He said COMET officials will approach other local police departments to join.

"Nothing is in the works at this time," Honey added. "We hope to continue business as usual."

The order by Dwyer is his first major staffing move since becoming Warren's highest-ranking police official on April 2.

"There's no resentment toward COMET," he said.

Dwyer said he plans to beef up drug-fighting efforts in Macomb County's most populated city, including targeting drug pads in residential neighborhoods. That enforcement could include more officers in the undercover Warren Special Investigations Division, and by assigning a second officer to work directly in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

Dwyer, who helped launch the South Oakland Narcotics Intelligence Consortium (SONIC) while he was chief of police in Farmington Hills, said he also plans to gauge interest from his new Macomb County counterparts in forming a consortium targeting drug dealers and other major crimes in every member community.

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