In 2022, TAG and TRIDENT merged into the Special Problem Enforcement and Response (SPEAR) Team.
SPEAR – Special Problems Enforcement and Response
The “Special Problems Enforcement and Response” (SPEAR) Task Force was initiated in 2022 in Garfield County.
SPEAR is a full time task force that is independent of any one agency. Essentially, it is a major crimes unit. Cases based on an Intelligence Lead Policing (ILP) model, where intelligence information is passed, back and forth between cops on the street and SPEAR. SPEAR has a full time analyst that will crunch all of the data. Whether that data produces the most serious crime, criminal or location (county or town), SPEAR will go after it. These issues will vary over time, but drugs, human trafficking, auto thefts, burglaries; robberies, etc. will be the focus. The philosophy is that the local agencies can handle most of their criminal activity, but when we see major criminal behavior, SPEAR will work with all of them to eradicate the problem.
The reason we decided to focus on all crimes rather than just drugs (TRIDENT) or gangs (TAG) is in part to commit their combined work force to enforcement. We are aware drug laws are changing in our state, making them lesser violations. Unfortunately, most crimes committed are still rooted in drugs and drug issues. SPEAR will focus its energy by locking down the crimes being committed because of drugs rather than only focusing on drug investigations.
TRIDENT (Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team) was formed in 1994 to focus and concentrate on illegal drugs coming into and passing through Garfield County. With 28 successful years of service and cooperation, TRIDENT was the longest running multi-jurisdictional task force in Colorado.
TAG (Threat Assessment Group) began in 2008 under Sheriff Lou Vallario. TAG was tasked with monitoring and maintaining intelligence on gang members. TAG Investigators focused their investigative efforts on threats to the community from individuals as well as groups in Garfield County.
While both TRIDENT and TAG did outstanding work and provided tremendous service to the residents of Garfield County, they combined to form SPEAR and create a single team as a force multiplier becoming more than they were individually. By collaborating with DEA, the US Marshal’s Service and HSI (Homeland Security Investigations), SPEAR will be able to utilize their energies and workforces to leverage more resources for our team.
To be direct, if you are a criminal that makes it to the top of our list, SPEAR is coming after you with all of its power and partner agencies!
SPEAR headquartered in Garfield County, is managed by a Board of Directors comprised of member agencies, the team Commander and the District Attorney. Funding comes from the participating agencies, asset seizures and the Federal drug investigation program HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area).
If you have information you feel might be useful to the SPEAR Task Force, you can reach them by calling (970) 945-0744
Threat Assessment Group
The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office Threat Assessment Group (TAG) began in 2008 when there was a noticeable increase of inmates in the Garfield County Jail with gang affiliations. TAG began as an intelligence gathering entity within the Garfield County Jail and was staffed by full-time Detention Deputies and a supervisor. In 2009, TAG joined up with Homeland Security Investigations as part of “Operation Community Shield.” In 2014, TAG joined into the Investigations Division of the Sheriff’s Office where it began proactive operations as an active Gang Unit on the streets of Garfield County. The unit is staffed full-time with two investigators and one supervisor. In 2017, TAG Investigators were deputized with the United States Marshal’s Service as part of the Colorado Violent Offender Task Force and began participating in fugitive operations in Garfield County, Colorado. Currently, TAG Investigators focus their investigative efforts on threats to the community in addition to the monitoring and maintaining of intelligence of gang members and security threat groups within Garfield County. TAG has built relationships and teamed up over the years with local, state, and federal law enforcement partners in the Roaring Fork Valley to accomplish our mission of making our community safer.
The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office is an active member of the Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team (TRIDENT). TRIDENT was created in 1994 to better provide our communities with drug enforcement. The primary function of TRIDENT is to collect intelligence on suspected drug dealers and users, then develop cases on those individuals. TRIDENT enjoys a professional working relationship with law enforcement agencies in our area. TRIDENT often works with other drug task forces and federal agencies, such as the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) on cases. TRIDENT officers are members of the Colorado Drug Investigators Association (CDIA), which is a vast network of police officers throughout the state.
TRIDENT is made up of Police Officers from the Carbondale Police Department, Glenwood Springs Police Department, and Rifle Police Department, as well as deputies from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.
TRIDENT is governed by a board that consists of the Chiefs of Police and Sheriffs from the member agencies and the District Attorney of the 9th Judicial District. TRIDENT is funded through the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), the Justice Administration Grant (JAG), and local funds.