Most Pierce County sheriff’s drug unit personnel were reassigned Tuesday so an outside agency can review the unit’s procedures.
The moves were prompted by several deputies and deputy prosecutors raising questions about the drug unit’s practices.
“Our own deputies brought their concerns to our attention because they want to do things right,” Sheriff Paul Pastor said.
The Sheriff’s Department declined to say which practices and procedures are being looked at.
It’s also unknown whether the drug unit’s practices have impacted investigations or court cases, though officials said no criminal behavior has been discovered on the part of deputies.
“The prosecutor’s office is evaluating referrals and pending cases to determine whether any of them have been impacted,” spokesman Adam Faber said.
Ten of the unit’s 13 personnel will temporarily work in patrol or the Investigations Bureau.
An outside law enforcement agency will conduct an administrative review of the drug unit’s procedures.
Outside agencies consulted about the practices determined there were no criminal violations.
“We have a lot of good deputies in that unit. They’re not being disciplined and they’re not in trouble,” sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said. “We’re moving the folks out because we want to do a complete review of the unit. This is kind of a first.”
Three drug unit personnel will remain, as will deputies working on drug-related task forces.
It is unknown how long the administrative review will take.
“We intend to do things according to correct procedures in order to hold offenders accountable and maintain the public’s trust,” Pastor said.