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The Lake News Online
  • New name, same crimes for street unit

  • While the name is new, the tasks the Camden County Sheriff's Street Crime Unit are dealing with are not.
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  • While the name is new, the tasks the Camden County Sheriff's Street Crime Unit are dealing with are not.
    The Street Crime Unit, as it is referred to by the Sheriff's department, is nothing more than a name for two deputies who work as liaisons with the Lake Area Narcotics Enforcement Group as well as perform other duties.
    The name does not indicate that Camden County is seeing an increase in what would be characterized as street crimes, according to department officials.
    "I wouldn't say calling a unit the 'Street Crimes Task Force' would cause people to think we have a street crimes problem anymore then creating a 'DWI Unit' would cause people to think we have a DWI problem," Lt. Joe Botta said. "Most progressive law enforcement departments have some type of unit designed to be flexible, with the ability to respond quickly to a variety of calls and investigations. They are called by various names from 'Special Operations' to 'Special Investigations' units."
    Regardless of the name, Botta said the work can be difficult and requires special technique and handling that the average patrol deputy doesn't have the luxury of time to deal with.
    As part of the "buy-in" for the unit, Botta said the team was given the opportunity come up with the name.
    "I think they chose the name to make the 'bad guys' nervous... I think it's working quite well," he said.
    The two deputies in the unit who work as the liaisons with the drug task force have been in that role for approximately two years.
    They assist with drug investigations and other investigations when the detectives need additional assistance, according to Botta.
    The deputies provide a wide variety of tasks. So far, they have answered patrol calls and supplemented patrol squads, served search warrants, hunted for fugitives, conducted a DWI check point, worked with outside agencies, responded to assist SWAT deputies, assisted in serving civil process and escorted prisoners, just to name a few things. They are extremely versatile, he said.
    Botta declined to provide data on how many Camden County deputies are assigned to LANEG.
    "As for exact numbers of deputies and how they're allocated, I won't discuss that with the media due to the fact it affects the safety of the public and our deputies, " he said. "I'm sorry, but bad guys read the newspaper too, and I prefer they don't know how many of us they're up against and exactly where our resources are assigned."
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