Investigations Unit Formed by Local Law Enforcers

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The four big law enforcement agencies in the Twin Cities are partnering on a new unit aimed at cracking down on crime.

The announcement of the Special Investigations Unit Thursday marks a major step in the minds of local law enforcement leaders.

"We all work very well together, and this effort that we have is further demonstration of that," said Brazos County Sheriff Chris Kirk.

A $400,000 grant from Governor Rick Perry and the State of Texas will go towards operations for this unit. It's actually made up of members of the College Station, the Bryan, the University police departments and the Sheriff's Office.

The nine-member team will be housed at an undisclosed location. The police chiefs and the sheriff will make up an advisory board overseeing the unit's efforts.

All involved say communication between their agencies is key in this day in age.

"It's bridging the gaps between the departments that will allow investigators to work together that have never worked together before, to share information where there's never been information shared before," said James Woodward with CSPD, who will command the unit.

Prevention and investigation of major crimes is the unit's mission. Specialized equipment and additional manpower will be provided for violent and organized crime, with drug distribution near the top of the unit's list.

"Us combined, we will have a substantive effect on violent crime in the City of Bryan itself, the City of College Station, and within the Brazos Valley, as long as we stay committed in our focus and our goal," said Bryan Police Chief Tyrone Morrow.

This first grant is for just the first year of the unit's existance, so Brazos County will continue seeking grants. Personnel costs are covered by the partners.

"First, we have to establish ourselves, show that we can provide a resource to the community, to local law enforcement agencies that have members assigned to this unit. They need to get their money's worth as well," Woodward said.