Bullitt Co. Drug Task Force refocuses, sees progress
BULLITT COUNTY, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Bullitt County Drug Task Force has recently taken an aggressive approach to getting drugs off the streets, with back-to-back raids and arrests.
The task force has changed its focus. Instead of going after the low-level drug dealers, they're starting at the top.
"You're never going to get rid of drugs. It's just not going to happen. You can only control drugs," said Captain Mike Halbleib, Director of the Bullitt County Drug Task Force.
He took the role back in October after retiring from LMPD.
When he came on, he immediately saw a need for some changes.
"When I came out here, the focus was on low level, mid-level dealers," he told WDRB.
Halbleib said his unit has made some serious progress in little time, with successful raids turning over guns, drugs and stolen merchandise.
"If you become a target of the task force, you're done. Either you move out of the county or we're going to catch you. One or the other and so far, everyone we've made a target has been caught," Halbleib told WDRB.
He said they're only going to improve.
Right now, the task force is made up of Halbleib and 5 others. Is that enough?
"No. We're looking to increase the unit but it takes time. I'd like to double the size of the unit over time," he said.
Halbleib said Bullitt County will find the resources to back the task force because the need is serious.
"When you fight drugs, when you're decreasing drugs, the use and sales of drugs, you're decreasing crime throughout the whole community," he explained.
Taylor Payne knows that first hand. He started using drugs when he was 9 years old.
"I was too shy and insecure about things so I used drugs to change that so I could talk to other people and be more socially involved," said Payne.
It wasn't until he found himself behind bars that he realized it was time to quit.
"That's how I became clean today is because of the consequences I served," Payne told WDRB.
He's been clean for almost 8 months but said fighting the urge is even harder with how accessible drugs have become.
He wants police to be making more arrests.
"I would like to see them step up more and stop the madness in our community," he said.
But Halbleib said investigations take time and sometimes all it takes is a call from a concerned resident to nail the next target.
"We take everything down, we look into everything and you never know what that's going to lead to," he told WDRB.
The Bullitt County Drug Task Force is currently working 13 major cases.
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