By Nathan Baker
Elizabethton Police Chief Greg Workman said he supports the decision made by his predecessor to pull a city-funded agent from a four-county anti-drug task force, and said the EPD will likely not contribute full-time manpower to the agency in the foreseeable future.
In May 2012, then-Police Chief Matt Bailey decided to withdraw Elizabethton officer Patrick White from the First Judicial District Drug Task Force to dedicate more resources to combating drug activity in the city.
Mike Adams, who succeeded White as director of the DTF, admitted that much of the agent’s time was spent in the more populated areas of Johnson City and Washington County and not in the less-populated outlying towns.
“He wanted to focus more on the city of Elizabethton and boost their own vice unit — it’s a manpower issue,” Adams said of Bailey. “We’re short-handed as well, and trying to cover four counties, we weren’t able to concentrate in Elizabethton all that much.”
Other than Adams, who was dedicated from the Johnson City Police Department, the DTF has three full-time agents: one each from the Washington, Carter and Unicoi county sheriff’s departments.
District Attorney General Tony Clark, who sits on the board of directors of the task force and oversees much of its operations, said the number of agents working for the DTF usually yo-yos according to the available funding from local police departments.