The Paducah Police Department's Drug Unit engages in covert and overt operations in an effort to combat dangerous drugs, prescription drug abuse, and related activity in the Paducah area. The Drug Unit is primarily responsible for the seizure of narcotics and the forfeiture of assets belonging to drug traffickers.
The drug problem in our country is complex and not easily managed by the work of front-line patrol officers who have to respond to other calls for service. As a department, we attempt to address all levels of the drug trade, from street-level dealing that causes neighborhood issues, to those dealers that have established connections outside of our community. As such, the Drug Unit manages everything from Crime Stoppers tips to our continued taskforce partnership with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.
The Drug Unit actively participates in the McCracken County Drug Court, which aims at giving drug offenders a second chance. The Unit participates in education around the community, partnering with health professionals to teach people the dangers of opioid abuse.
In addition to the illicit drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamines, and marijuana, the Drug Unit focuses on investigating the abuse of prescription painkillers. The Kentucky Attorney General's Office reports more than 1,000 people die in Kentucky each year from prescription drug overdose. The database known as Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting System (KASPER) is an important resource in identifying potential prescription drug abusers. The Drug Unit also has developed and implemented a "pharmacy alert system" to share information between local druggists.
The Drug Unit also spends time educating patrol officers on what to look for on the streets. The Drug Unit Detectives have specialized training in drug detection and investigation, and they share that knowledge with patrol officers during training blocks. The topics covered include: search and seizure, drug interdiction and detection, and interview and interrogation techniques.
To educate the public and to reduce drug abuse, the Paducah Police Department partners with the Paducah Public Schools in providing Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE).