YAVAPAI COUNTY -- In late June, the Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking (PANT) Board, including Yavapai County Sheriff Scott Mascher, agreed to merge YCSO's Special Crimes Unit (SCU) and K9 Unit with PANT. This newly formed task force will continue under the PANT title with its base of operation headquartered in Prescott Valley. The merger will create a task force group of experienced law enforcement officers and provide a multi-agency advantage in the fight against narcotics in Yavapai County.
YCSO Sergeant Bill Suttle was unanimously selected by the PANT Board for the position of PANT Commander. Sgt. Suttle had previously overseen the SCU team. Sgt. Suttle began his position as PANT Commander on July 8, 2012.
Sheriff Mascher believes that combining the units will enhance the already excellent efforts produced individually. By sharing resources, intelligence, and staffing, it is expected PANT's effectiveness will grow even stronger. Narcotics use and sales are routinely associated with property crimes and similar criminal activity throughout the county.
Cottonwood Police Chief Jody Fanning said, "I think this is great step forward for Yavapai County law enforcement in our constant battle with drugs. I also think it will further improve the working relationships between all the agencies involved. I have a lot of faith in Commander Suttle and in his experience. I believe we will see more great things from all of those involved."
"Combining our PANT Task Force with the Sheriff's Special Crimes Unit will have significant benefits to all communities in Yavapai County," affirms Sedona Police Chief Ray Cota. "First, this sends a strong and visible message that law enforcement is serious about drug enforcement and committed to the safety of our communities. Secondly, the merger adds a new level of leadership to the Task Force, which I believe, will enable the group to enhance its investigations and increase its responsiveness to the needs of all the participating agencies. And this merger demonstrates the fiscal accountability that our law enforcement leaders have for their cities, towns, and county."