MARIN COUNTY, CA — After 43 years of providing law enforcement service to Marin County, the Marin County Major Crimes Task Force will cease operations this fall, the Marin County Sheriff's Office announced Thursday. The task force will disband due to the "severe budget shortfalls impacting cities and towns across Marin," sheriff's officials said.
The task force — which was formed in 1977 at the recommendation of the Marin County Police Chief's Association — currently operates under a Joint Powers Agreement between the county; the cities of Belvedere, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Novato and San Rafael; and the towns of Corte Madera, Fairfax, Ross, San Anselmo and Tiburon. The county contributes 50 percent of the costs associated with the JPA, with member agencies sharing the remainder of the costs.
While the task force's primary focus is narcotics investigations, the unit also serves as a countywide law enforcement resource and has investigated a variety of cases, ranging from homicide to human trafficking, according to the sheriff's office. The task force, which is managed by the sheriff's office, includes deputies from the sheriff's office, officers from Marin police departments, and other personnel from state and federal agencies.
Over the past few months, the managers of the participating JPA municipalities have been assessing ways to mitigate the budget challenges they face due to the coronavirus pandemic. 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, according to the sheriff's office.
Work will be continued by individual police departments, the sheriff's office and 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," sheriff's officials said.