U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Comparison of Local and Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Enforcement Efforts in Illinois

NCJ Number
On Good Authority Volume: 6 Issue: 6 Dated: February 2003 Pages: 1-4
Date Published
February 2003
4 pages
This article summarizes the findings of a study designed to test a methodology for comparing multi-jurisdictional drug unit efforts to local police efforts to curb drug-related crime.
In the early 1970’s multi-jurisdictional drug task forces and metropolitan enforcement groups (MEGs) were formed to fill the gap in drug enforcement efforts between local police and Federal agencies. These groups have grown dramatically since the mid-1980’s and are now covering more territories. In order to compare the efforts of these multi-jurisdictional task forces (which, for purposes of this article include both drug task forces and MEGs), the researchers designed and tested a methodology to compare how these two groups function in relation to each other in Illinois. The three main research questions were: (1) what are the differences between multi-jurisdictional drug units and local police in the nature of drug arrests made; (2) are there differences between these two groups in terms of outcomes of arrests; and (3) are there differences in these two groups in terms of criminal histories for those arrested? In order to answer these questions, five multi-jurisdictional task forces were sampled in Illinois. The demographic characteristics of those arrested in 1998 by these multi-jurisdictional task forces were gathered. Criminal histories were then provided by the Illinois State Police and coded for criminal history, characteristics, and outcome of arrest. The same procedure was followed for those arrested by local police during the same period for drug-related offenses. The results indicate that those arrested by the multi-jurisdictional task forces were more likely to be arrested for violations of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act involving cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. Local police were more likely to make arrests for violations of the Illinois Cannabis Control Act. Another main difference was that the multi-jurisdictional task force most often made arrests for felony offenses, while only about one-half of the local police arrests were for felony offenses. Finally, about 40 percent of task force arrests involved multiple offenses whereas only about 5 percent of local police arrests resulted in multiple charges. Thus, the major finding was that the multi-jurisdictional drug task forces targeted more serious offenders than the local police. In conclusion, this study allowed for the development and testing of a methodology designed to monitor the activities of law enforcement agencies in Illinois.