Apache Junction Police Department has a street-crimes unit called the Community Response Enforcement Unit.
It is made up several plain-clothed detectives who investigate crimes that significantly impact the quality of life for the citizens in the community, a release states.
Many of their investigations are generated from leads and tips that come straight from residents, it states.
Most of the cases CREU worked in 2020 were drug-related cases and they had a very busy and productive year — through the course of the year they executed 16 search warrants and made 198 felony arrests and 94 misdemeanor arrests, according to the release.
As a result of the warrants executed and the arrests made, CREU detectives took multiple ounces of heroin and about 38 pounds of methamphetamine off the streets. This equates to about 17,000 dosage units of methamphetamine.
A significant problem nationally is the rise in the prevalence and the availability of fentanyl on the street. In 2019 CREU detectives seized a mere 18 fentanyl pills. Last year, in 2020, CREU detectives seized more than 10,000 fentanyl pills. The sharp increase in the amount of fentanyl seized highlights the important work that CREU does in the Apache Junction area, according to the release.
In addition to the drugs that were seized, CREU seized more than $58,875 in U.S. Currency, eight vehicles and numerous firearms. The items were seized and forfeited in compliance with the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) of 1970.
“Every community across the country is affected by drug addiction; the epidemic crosses over all socioeconomic boundaries. We are fortunate here in Apache Junction to have this elite unit working within the Criminal Investigations Division of the AJPD,” AJPD Chief Thomas Kelly said in the release. “Their hard work and professionalism has contributed to making Apache Junction a safer place to live and raise a family.”