The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Interdiction Team (CIT) is a patrol-based unit that actively investigates the worst offenders in Whatcom County. Most of these suspects are repeat offenders with lengthy criminal histories involving drugs, violence, weapons and gangs. The goal of the Criminal Interdiction Team is to “interdict” or stop repeated criminal activity in Whatcom County. The team consists of several uniformed deputies and a narcotics canine unit who work together to locate, investigate and stop career criminals.
Formed in 2004, CIT’S initial mission was to respond and investigate clandestine methamphetamine laboratories in Whatcom County. During 2004-2005, CIT assisted with the investigation of over 60 meth labs. In addition, they also assisted the Northwest Regional Drug Task Force with the investigation and arrest of suspects involved in the distribution of methamphetamine and other narcotics as well as conducting drug “knock and talks” on suspected drug houses within Whatcom County. As drug labs began to dissipate in Whatcom County, the mission of CIT began to change.
Currently CIT seeks out offenders whose repeated criminal activities make them some of the worst offenders in the County. The crimes committed by these people range from property crimes such as burglary and theft, up to violent offenses such as felony, assault and murder. In addition, CIT works closely with the Northwest Regional Drug Task Force and other Federal agencies in regards to many of the narcotics distributors based in the area. Many of these “drug dealers” are also involved in property crimes and more violent offenses. Working cooperatively with these other agencies, as well as the Sheriff’s Office Crime Analysis Unit and Washington State Department of Corrections, CIT is able to “target” these offenders, often catching them in the act of their crimes. Over the course of the last 12 months, CIT has been responsible for 176 Felony arrests and 366 Misdemeanor arrests. They have seized over 10 pounds of methamphetamine, over 50 kilos of cocaine, one half pound of heroin and over $64,000 in suspected drug currency. They have also removed 21 weapons from the hands of criminals. Through their hard work and knowledge of Whatcom County’s criminals, the Criminal Interdiction Team has made a profound impact in making our County safer and taking these “worst” offenders off of the street.