Martin Kidston

(Missoula Current) An agreement between Missoula County and surrounding jurisdictions establishing the Five Valley Drug Task Force was renewed this week by commissioners.

The agreement includes the sheriff's departments in Missoula, Granite, Lake, Mineral and Ravalli counties, along with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Police Department.

Ashley Bohrer with the Missoula County Sheriff's Department said the agreement allows her department to apply for funding for the drug task force.

“We partner with several area sheriff offices,” Bohrer said. “This funding helps fund the detective that's attached to the task force.”

The agreement between agencies also includes the prosecutorial support of the Missoula County Attorney's Office. Bohrer said the united effort and the resources it brings helps improve efforts to investigate and prosecute dangerous drug offenses.

Bohrer said it includes efforts to identify and target individuals involved in drug trafficking and manufacturing, along with property crimes and violent offenses related to drug activity.

“Our detective with the Five Valley Drug Task Force is attached to the Missoula Drug Task Force, which has federal partners,” Bohrer said. “It enables us to expand our reach and work with state, local and federal agencies to help stop the flow of drugs in western Montana.”

Sgt. Ryan Prather with the Missoula County Sheriff's Department said the county has received funding from the Montana Board of Crime Control for the Five Valley Drug Task Force for over 20 years.

“It's a continuous program and it has been very productive,” he said.