The first and only director what has become the Barren-Allen-Edmonson County Drug Task Force has had is about to retire – again – at the end of next month.
Jeff Scruggs was about to retire after 29 years as a detective with the Kentucky State Police. He'd spent six years as a road trooper, 18 as a general detective with the Bowling Green post, including two years as a child physical and sexual abuse investigator – “a long two years” – and then five as a detective with the Drug Enforcement/Special Investigations unit for the western part of the commonwealth.
Other than some random jobs in his youth, law enforcement was the only field Scruggs had known since he was 22.
“It's the only job I know of that I didn't mind getting up and going to work,” he said.
Then-Barren County Sheriff Barney Jones had told Scruggs he'd like to see a task force get started here. Judge-Executive Davie Greer was a big proponent of the effort to start a task force as well, he said.
The Bowling Green-Warren County task force was in existence already, as were several more scattered across the state, Scruggs said, so he put in an application and ended up starting his new role in September 2003, a month or so after his KSP retirement.
“Personally, I think it's reduced the influx of drugs in to Barren County and Edmonson County and now it's affecting Allen County,” he said. “It's kind of a check-stop against the drug trafficking, because even though you have police departments, sheriff's departments, state police and such, they have a lot of other obligations they've got to meet. They've got to answer complaint calls and domestics and accidents and so on. They don't have the manpower or the time to address the drug problem specifically. … You actually need to have resources that are going to be focused on the drug trafficking, in my opinion, if you're going to be successful, whether it's a drug task force or whether it's an agency's drug unit or whatever. I think you get more bang for your buck out of a task force, because you get more people with less cost, as an agency being involved with it.”