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Tamaqua task force combats drug activity

Published July 01. 2019 12:31PM

Many people see drug activity, but don’t know how to stop it.

At a recent Tamaqua Borough Council meeting, a concerned resident explained the drug activity she witnessed while working the polls during the May election.

Tamaqua Mayor Nathan Gerace responded to the resident and said he would pass the information to the Tamaqua Drug Task Force.

Tamaqua Drug Task Force is in conjunction with the Schuylkill County Drug Task Force, which consists of other officers throughout the county. Officers from different departments will work together depending on a certain situation such as a house raid.

In Tamaqua, the duties include gathering information on drug-related people and places and conducting controlled buys.

Officer Anthony Stanell has been a part of the Tamaqua Drug Task Force since 2006. He says being a part of this task force is not an easy job. It’s unpredictable and time consuming.

“We watch hot spots and we watch. We need to be at the right spot at the right time,” Stanell said.

An officer needs to physically see the drugs, the dealing and the consumption before he or she can step in. There are some situations that this event could take months to occur.

Currently, the task force did not have as many controlled buys this year as in previous ones, but the drug activity is still visibly known.

Stanell believes Tamaqua Drug Task Force has been successful in drug arrests and ensuring safety to the area’s residents, but the force still needs help from the public.

If anyone sees drug activity or suspicious activity, they are advised to call a nonemergency hotline at 570-668-6100. This number will go directly to the Schuylkill County Drug Task Force. A detective will listen to the message and direct the tip to the proper police department. Calls can also be made to the Tamaqua Police Department at 570-668-5000.

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