BICEPconferenceFrom left: Det. Ellison, Sgt. Begoon, K-9 Officer Beck, Sgt. Bigelow, & NCEA Director Doug Wright

An officer with the Benton Police Department's Benton Interstate Criminal Enforcement Patrol (BICEP) team received an award during the 5th annual National Interdiction Conference in Reno, Nevada. Sgt. Hunter Begoon was recognized for having the Largest Street Level Cocaine Seizure for the National Criminal Enforcement Association in 2015.

“The community should be very proud of the accomplishments of Sgt. Begoon and all the BICEP officers,” Chief Kirk Lane said. “They work tirelessly to eradicate drugs and crimes associated with the drug trade from the city. To be recognized nationally from the NCAE and other national programs shows that we are hiring the best officers and training them to the best of their abilities, and as a team they are a strong force in keeping this community safe.”

During the National Interdiction Conference, held March 13-18, BICEP officers – Sgt. Begoon, Det. Ellison, K-9 Officer Beck, and Sgt. Bigelow – received numerous hours of invaluable training to best serve the public. The conference, presented by the NCEA and Desert Snow Training, is a national criminal interdiction training seminar that included approximately 700 officers from 39 states, one US Territory (Guam), and officers from Canada and Africa. The training consisted of over 40 hours of both classroom and hands-on training in areas such as; criminal interdiction techniques of passenger and commercial vehicles, current smuggling trends, identifying and accessing aftermarket hidden compartments in vehicles, interdiction for the protection of missing and abducted children, K-9 operations, legal issues and current case law, courtroom testimony, human trafficking operations, interdicting terrorist operations, and officer safety.

“It was a great training conference honoring all of the criminal interdiction officers from around the country for what they do, including Benton Police Department officers,” Sgt. Bigelow said. “This was a great opportunity for our BICEP officers to attend very specialized training and be honored for their hard work and dedication to the city of Benton.”

The BICEP program is part of a grant funded program designed to provide enhanced officer visibility and safety of motorists traveling on Interstate 30 through the City of Benton. The team is currently comprised of four specially trained and equipped officers and two K-9s. The Benton Police Department is part of the Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area initiative, which is a program that provides assistance to federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the United States. See the link below for further information about the BICEP program.

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