New Castle News

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December 6, 2013

Council OKs agreement with DA’s office

NEW CASTLE — New Castle City Council has approved an agreement that details city narcotics officers to the Lawrence County district attorney’s office.

District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa said the goal of the agreement, approved last night, is to put the city officers and his drug task force under one chain of command. The city officers and the task force work closely together.

The city officers will become full-time detectives within the district attorney’s office and will fall within the chain of command of the district attorney’s detective bureau.

Lamancusa said the task force will be stationed at the city police department under the agreement.

The city’s officers will continue to be paid by the city.

Lamancusa told council at its work session this week that his office will continue to pay the city $2,500 each quarter and for a New Castle officer for working outside the city.

The city will continue to receive 50 percent of any drug forfeitures that occur within New Castle. The district attorney’s office also receives 50 percent.

A new revenue source for the city will be any forfeitures obtained outside New Castle. The city will receive 25 percent of the district attorney’s office share for those forfeitures.

Lamancusa said the placing everyone under one chain of command will create “more cohesion” and “increase efficiency.”

In response to a question from council, Lamancusa said New Castle Police Chief Bobby Salem will continue to have the authority to assign the narcotics officers elsewhere if necessary.

Salem said of the arrangement, “This way we’re all on the same page. We’re working on the same cases pretty much.”

He said the city has two full-time and two part–time officers in the task force.

Salem noted the agreement also gives those city officers countywide jurisdiction.

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