Special Investigations Bureau
Bureau Commander: Rocky Johnson
The Special Investigations Division is comprised of detectives assigned to various federal task forces focused on organized and violent crimes investigations. We currently have 5 detectives assigned to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Violent Crimes Drug Task Force, one detective assigned to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force, and one detective assigned to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATF) River City Gun Task Force. Each task force is often supported operationally by officers assigned to the Special Emphasis Unit (SEU) and K-9 Unit.
The primary mission of each task force is to identify and dismantle violent drug/gun trafficking organizations (DTO) operating within our city and the surrounding area. Each task force relies heavily on crime analysis, intelligence gathering and surveillance to identify individuals who are part of a DTO. Upon the identification of offenders, cases are worked utilizing federal conspiracy statutes to link overt acts of individuals to others in a criminal organization. This enables law enforcement officers to arrest and prosecute entire groups of offenders responsible for crimes and criminal acts occurring over a period of time. Federal sentencing guidelines often result in stiff prison terms imposed on offenders. Other methods of enforcement include undercover street-level buys, open-air drug market suppression, prostitution operations, and buy bust drug operations targeting dealers.
FBI Violent Crime Drug Task Force
The FBI Violent Crime Drug Task Force is an outstanding collaborative partnership between the Huntington Police Department and the FBI. The FBI commits generous funding and equipment to support our drug eradication efforts. The FBI Violent Crimes Drug Task Force also includes detectives from the Cabell County Sheriff’s Department, West Virginia State Police and the Barboursville Police Department.
The collaboration and between the participating agencies has been a force multiplier for our department and a key to our success in disrupting and dismantling area drug/gun trafficking organizations (DTOs). The task force also conducts undercover street-level purchases and frequently responds to patrol-initiated narcotics investigations and seizures, in order to provide investigative support and gather useful intelligence.
ATF River City Gun Task Force
The ATF River City Gun Task Force works closely with the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB), the Patrol Bureau and other area law enforcement agencies to conduct investigations involving firearms and related violent crime. The task force is frequently supported by officers assigned to the Special Emphasis Unit (SEU).
DEA Task Force
The DEA Task Force is also responsible for investigating and dismantling drug/gun trafficking organizations (DTOs) operating in Huntington and throughout the Southern District of West Virginia. The task force has proven to be particularly effective with investigations having a nexus to source of supply cities, such as Columbus, Ohio and Detroit, Michigan. The task force has also played an important role in responding to assist uniformed patrol officers when they have discovered individuals in possession of large amounts of narcotics.
All task force operations are provided supplemental funding by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program. The Appalachia HIDTA has committed significant monies to the Huntington Police Department for funding drug operations and covert equipment purchases.
Team Commander: Sid Hinchman
Current Assigned Strength: 18 officers
The Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team is a volunteer part-time, specialized unit consisting of officers assigned full-time to the Patrol Bureau, Administrative Bureau, Criminal Investigations Bureau, Special Emphasis Unit, Special Investigations Division and K-9 Unit. These officers are required to successfully complete a rigorous selection process, and maintain a high-level of readiness through individual and team training.
SWAT officers are utilized on a call-out basis for high-risk search warrants, high-risk arrest warrants, barricaded suspects, hostage situations and any other high-risk incident requiring special tactics and equipment. Certain members have expertise and certifications in firearms instruction, distractionary device deployment, mechanical breaching, urban sniper and chemical munitions deployment.