Council to hear year-end ACET review from commander
February 23, 2010
Garrett Wiggins, the All Crimes Enforcement Team commander, will give a 2009 year-end review on the task force tonight during the Craig City Council meeting.
The report will focus largely on statistical information of the department, rather than the day-to-day activity information usually kept confidential because of the sensitivity of ongoing investigations, Wiggins said.
Wiggins will present the number of cases, suspects and the amount of drugs seized in 2009 to give the council a picture the task force's activities.
Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta originally requested the review, Wiggins said.
"Its important to do the year-end reviews because what we do is kept very secret," Wiggins said. "In order for (the council) to justify funding the agency, they need to be kept informed on what we're doing, how our productivity is and what kind of success we are having."
Craig City Manager Jim Ferree said knowing the "big picture, quantitative information," is important to the city.
"One of the things we talked about last year when all this stuff was going on was making sure there was more frequent communication," he said.
Ferree was referring to the investigations of former ACET officers Ken Johnson and Bob Brabo.
Johnson resigned in September 2009, was arrested later that month and charged with three felonies.
He reportedly broke the law while involved in a sexual relationship with a local woman convicted of drug use and distribution. He is accused of providing that woman with information about ongoing law enforcement investigations and helping her violate probation.
Brabo, who was assigned to replace Johnson on the task force, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft in December 2009 for reportedly stealing $500 in ACET drug buy money.
Council member Jennifer Riley agrees that ACET should be more open with its activities.
"In the past, ACET has been unaccountable to the citizens, and keeping up with what they are doing is important to raise awareness about the importance of that agency," she said. "I don't necessarily need to know what their day-to-day operations are, but it's always good to be kept abreast of what they've done and accomplished."
The ACET annual report comes on the heels of an independent report on the Police department's internal affairs investigation of Johnson.
The independent report was presented in a public workshop before the Feb. 9 City Council meeting.
According to the official report, there was "absolutely no evidence to show that the command staff of the Craig Police Department engaged in any attempt to conceal or cover up any wrongful conduct of Ken Johnson."
"I think for a long time, things were going smoothly and then a few people started making bad choices and things started going awry," Riley said. "Everyone was under the impression that someone else was supervising. There wasn't a lot of communication going on between agencies.
"It's like every other agency — when you are funding something, you want to be able to justify to taxpayers why you're funding it," she said. "If someone asks you what they do and your answer is 'I don't know,' that's a problem. We just want to know the big picture stuff."