Lawmen exchange words: Quartzsite Police Chief’s rebuttal to Sheriff’s statement

Quartzsite Police Chief Jeff Gilbert has issued a public rebuttal to Sheriff John Drum’s statement regarding the County’s narcotics task force at the last meeting of the La Paz County Board of Supervisors. The full text of the rebuttal is below (the original statement by Sheriff Drum can be found HERE).


On March 18, 2013, a letter was read into the record at the La Paz County Board of Supervisor’s meeting by Sheriff John Drum regarding the La Paz County Task Force. The statements made by Sheriff Drum are mostly inaccurate and very misleading.

In October, 2007, La Paz County, The Town of Parker and the Town of Quartzsite entered into a new Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) establishing the La Paz County Anti-Drug and Racketeering Enforcement Task Force know as CADRE. The new IGA became effective with all three governing bodies agreeing to a term of five (5) years with an automatic renewal of another five years unless otherwise terminated by the parties. The IGA automatically renewed at the beginning of 2013 for a new five year period.

I have served on the CADRE Board of Directors for nearly eight years as the Chief of Police for the Town of Quartzsite. Before that time I served as the Operations Lieutenant for the Task Force for a period of two years from 2001-2003, while employed with the Colorado River Indian Tribes Police Department. Before that time I regularly participated at the monthly meetings as a representative for the CRIT Police Department during my ten year tenure.

For more than fifteen years, I have personally witnessed and participated in a Task Force that had one common goal as an objective. This one common goal was to be effective in combating the illegal drug activities in La Paz County, the Town of Quartzsite, the Town of Parker and the CRIT Reservation. We did not draw lines in the sand.

What Sheriff Drum has presented to the Board of Supervisors and the community members of La Paz County with his statement is nothing short of drawing a “line in the sand”. He has presented an ultimatum to the Town of Quartzsite and the Town of Parker to “join him” along with C.R.I.T., the Department of Public Safety, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Border Patrol to “create a Task Force that everyone in La Paz County can be proud of.”

Maybe Sheriff Drum has not been in office long enough to realize that we already have a Task Force that all the communities of La Paz County “are” proud of. We are already working collectively and cooperatively with AZ DPS, DEA, Border Patrol, HIDTA, and our Board just recently met last week with representatives of C.R.I.T. to discuss final terms of a new IGA with them.

You have my commitment as the Chief of Police for the Quartzsite Police Department to continue working with the Parker Police Department and Chief Mendoza, alongside the La Paz County Attorney Tony Rogers, to continue to keep our current Task Force strong and effective. I hope that Sheriff Drum decides not to let his “self-interest and politics” get in his way of doing the same. For no one agency can handle the job that needs to be done alone.

Jeff Gilbert, Chief of Police
Quartzsite Police Department

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