HYANNIS - The Barnstable Street Crime Unit (SCU) just got a little stronger. Beginning February 1, according to Barnstable Lt. John Murphy, a Mashpee officer will be reporting to duty as part of the crime fighting squad.
SCU was organized in May 2011 in response to increasing crime in the Main Street area of Hyannis. The original SCU members were charged with combating "open air" narcotics distribution, disorderly conduct, vandalism and most importantly, violence and gang activity.
Members wear street clothes and drive unmarked vehicles. Units are made up of law enforcement officers from the Massachusetts State Police, Barnstable Police Department, Yarmouth Police Department and the Barnstable County Sheriff's Office.
According to Lt. Murphy, the goal of SCU wasn't to push the criminal element out of Hyannis into surrounding towns, but instead, to eradicate it. These efforts have been successful using the multi-jurisdictional approach. Since May 2011, SCU has made 1,000 arrests.
February 1 SCU's reach will grow as a new member joins the team--Officer Michael Assad of the Mashpee Police Department. In early January, SCU approached Mashpee Police Chief Rodney Collins about joining forces with SCU and the chief immediately committed to assigning an officer to the team, according to Lt. Murphy.