Formed in 1977 at the recommendation of the Marin County Police Chief’s Association, the MCTF currently operates under a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) between the County, and the cities of Belvedere, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Novato, San Rafael; and the towns of Corte Madera, Fairfax, Ross, San Anselmo, and Tiburon. While the primary focus of the MCTF is narcotics investigations, the unit also serves as a countywide law enforcement resource and has investigated a wide variety of cases, ranging from homicide to human trafficking. The County of Marin contributes 50 percent of the costs associated with the JPA, with member agencies sharing the remainder. The MCTF is managed by the Marin County Sheriff’s Office, with a Sheriff’s Lieutenant overseeing the operation and a Sheriff’s Sergeant supervising the unit. The unit itself is made up of Deputies from the Sheriff’s Office, Officers from Marin police departments, and others from state and federal agencies.
Over the past few months, the managers of the participating JPA municipalities have been assessing ways to mitigate the severe budget challenges they all face. Amid budget challenges due to the COVID-19 crisis, the participating cities and towns issued letters of intent shortly before the beginning of the new fiscal year to withdraw from the JPA, effectively ending the task force. This has resulted in the member agencies making the decision to withdraw from the JPA and begin the process of dissolving the Task Force.
That work will be continued by the individual police departments, the Sheriff’s Department, and our other law enforcement partners in their respective jurisdictions, but without the coordination and resources that the Task Force provided. These are trying times that require agencies to become creative in ways to best serve our communities in the most cost-efficient way possible.