The Director of the Office of National Drug and Money Laundering Control Policy, (ONDCP), Lieutenant Colonel Edward Croft is seeking to reassure the public that there is no need to be alarmed over the agency’s personnel using ski masks while on field operations. He says given the nature of the investigations his officers are required to carry out, their safety is of utmost importance.
At the same time, he acknowledges that the country is in the era where criminals are impersonating law enforcement personnel – wearing similar uniforms – and thus he commends the public for being aware and expressing concern “whenever they see something unusual.” On Wednesday, residents contacted OBSERVER media, dismayed over the fact that ONDCP personnel were wearing Balaclava masks (ski masks) during an operation in which they intercepted a man travelling in a van that was allegedly loaded with cocaine worth just over $11.8 million.
“In this case, we are at the pointy end of the sword in the fight against organised crime and drugs. Wherever there are drugs, there are guns, and as you would realise from the recent activities, we are desirous and need [to] protect the men and women who operate at the pointy end of the sword,” Lieutenant Colonel Croft said. The official said the officers’ clothing would be marked ONDCP in the front and back and they also carry identification badges. “So it is very clear who they are and what we’re doing,” he said.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)