Central Kansas law enforcement agencies continue the fight against drugs

GREAT BEND, Kan. (KSNW) — Great Bend police officers, along with the Barton County Sheriff’s Office, continue to respond to drug offenses every day. Fighting the drug problem, specifically meth, has been a high priority for the law enforcement agencies.

“It is one of those drugs that I truly believe is related to just about every other crime that occurs in Barton County,” said Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir.

According to the sheriff, his office will be adding an additional detective that will solely focus on drug investigations. The department has also seen success by putting beat and traffic deputies on high alert.

“In some cases, we’re able to discover illicit drugs that are being transported on the highways,” Bellendir said.

As for the Great Bend Police Department, they have added a new dog to their K-9 unit and a detective that handles all drug offenses. The chief said the additional resources have been a huge help.

“I can say, anecdotally, we’re definitely putting a lot of people in jail,” said Chief Cliff Couch.

Sheriff Bellendir said the relationship between his department and the police department is the best he has ever seen. Both agencies are counting on that relationship to continue fighting the drug problem.

“Both of us adding resources, and if we pull those together, and share our information, which we have been…I think we’re going to have quite a bit of success,” said Bellendir.

Both departments continue to search for suspects in ongoing cases and encourage the community to report any illegal drug activity.