CENT

Columbia Enforcement Narcotics Team

In 1989 a highly specialized counter drug task force was formed to combat the ever-increasing flow of narcotics and dangerous drugs into and through Columbia County. By written agreement, all law enforcement jurisdictions within the county joined forces to support the effort. The unit known as the Columbia Enforcement Narcotics Team, or by the acronym CENT, was yet another weapon in the War on Drugs.

In 1991 command and control of the unit fell on the shoulders of the St. Helens Police Department where it has remained ever since. The Columbia Enforcement Narcotics Team is comprised of detectives from both the St. Helens Police Department and the Oregon State Police. It is supported by the Portland, Oregon based Regional Organized Crime Narcotics (ROCN) task force. One detective from the St. Helens Police Department is assigned full time to the ROCN task force as a representative of CENT. All cases which, by their nature, exceed the investigative resources of CENT are referred to ROCN for follow up. CENT also commands a twenty man “Raid Team,” made up of every law enforcement agency in Columbia County, whose sole responsibility is to execute all search warrants initiated by CENT.

The focal task of the Columbia Enforcement Narcotics Team is to identify and eliminate all mid and upper level drug trafficking enterprises within Columbia County, and to seize those drugs that are manufactured, distributed and possessed. During its tenure the task force has played a key role in a number of high profile cases throughout Oregon. From the seizure of record amounts of controlled substances, to the investigation of the nation’s first multiple defendant narcotics conspiracy case, CENT has always been up to and prepared for the challenge.

We now, both as a community and society, must recognize the need for continuing to train our children to understand the dangers of drugs in their lives. We must reinforce the lessons learned by so many others that have hopelessly fallen victim to the power and persuasive influences of these substances.

Remember that the police and citizens must work together if we are going to make a difference. If you have information regarding narcotics activity in Columbia County please call us at (503) 397-1167 or send us an email. The smallest bit of information may be the key to our next arrest.