Federal State And Local Teamwork

Complementing federal efforts directed at ''high-level drug traffickers,'' ODALE was charged with attacking the heroin-distribution system at the street level to reduce the drug's availability there. Patterned after the justice department's Organized Crime Strike Forces, the ODALE program included task forces of federal, state, and local law-enforcement officers and attorneys. The full use of federal, state, and local narcotics laws, the availability of assigned attorneys, and the use of the investigative grand jury made possible a wide range of approaches in pursuing violators.

ODALE established task forces in thirty-four cities in 1972 and encouraged citizens to ''report information regarding alleged narcotics law violators in strict confidence.'' The federal government paid for task force equipment and operational expenses, including payments for a portion of the salaries and overtime of state and local officers. ODALE was credited with more than 8,000 narcotics arrests with a conviction rate of more than 90 percent during its 17 months of operation. Nevertheless, ODALE agents were widely criticized for conducting several drug raids involving unauthorized forcible entries into private homes and failures in identifying themselves as law officers during drug raids.

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