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ICE team best in nation

The Interstate Criminal Enforcement (ICE) team from the Lamar sheriff’s office has been recognized as the highway interdiction team of the year. The award was presented Feb. 25 at a meeting of the National Criminal Enforcement Association (NCEA) in Spartanburg, S.C. The Lamar team was selected for the award from 121 entrants. The Lamar team is commanded by Capt. Todd Pippin and consists of Sgt. Chad Payne; Sgt. Chris Webster and his K-9 partner Felony; and Sgt. Gary Long and his K-9 Paco. The national recognition is derived from reported efforts of interdiction teams nationwide. NCEA is non-profit organization of law enforcement officers engaged in proactive criminal enforcement. It was founded in 1999 as a tribute to Capt. Robbie Bishop of the Villa Rica Police Department. Bishop was killed in the line of duty. The Lamar ICE team has logged record seizures on I-75 and county roads. The team compiled 77 felony arrests and 68 misdemeanor arrests. Officers seized $1.5 million worth of drugs, $464,000 in cash and seven vehicles. Some of the drugs were destined for Barnesville- Lamar County. ’These seizures are an immediate response to criminal activity and result in the equivalent of over a mill in property tax savings for Lamar County,’ sheriff Larry Waller said in praising his team’s efforts.

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