Bellefonte, Centre County, Pa- The Centre County District Attorney’s office is adding a new position. Officials believe it will bring assistance to investigations on the street and cases in the courtroom.
The Centre County Commisioners approved a detective position in the 2019 budget.
Centre County District Attorney Bernie Cantorna told WTAJ it has been 23 years since the DA last had a detective. He added that he feels the new position will improve efficiancy in all levels of law enforcement.
“A county detective gives you the authority to go across agency jurisdictions, coordinate investigations, and is a major asset for law enforcement,” Cantorna said.
Cantorna said one of the key focuses for the detective will be drug-related cases.
“Primarily opioids and methamphetmines,” Cantorna said.
He says the new addition will help local police and the County’s Drug Task Force focus on their day-to-day duties.
“It’s an absolute resource for law enforcement because when you have a lawyer in the preparation of a case coming to trial, to have somebody that lawyer can actually ask to further the investigation…. allows local agencies to do the current law enforcement they have on their plate,” Cantorna said.
The detective will also serve as a “go-between” for investigations spanning multiple jurisdictions.
“From an investigatvie standpoint, a county detective can aid all of the local agencies when you have crimes that actually cross their jurisdiction bounds which we get all the time,” Cantorna said.