Marvin Cameron, a Craig resident and longtime Craig Police Department officer, will soon become the new commander of the All Crimes Enforcement Team.
Cameron, 46, who has about 23 years of law enforcement experience, will replace Garrett Wiggins, who was elected Routt County Sheriff in the Nov. 2 general election.
Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta said Cameron would take over for Wiggins the first week of December.
Cameron was reassigned to ACET in February after spending about 15 years with the Craig Police Department and reaching the rank of sergeant.
“He was actually put in there with the idea in mind that should Garrett get elected, that he could step in to fill the role of the task force commander position,” said Vanatta, a member of the ACET executive board.
The ACET executive board made the decision to promote Cameron about a week after the general election, Vanatta said.
The transition will be made official after an audit is conducted of the ACET offices to determine if all of the task force’s cash and equipment are accounted for, Vanatta said.
Three officers are assigned to the task force — one each from the Craig Police Department, Moffat County Sheriff’s Office and Steamboat Springs Police Department.
Wiggins was assigned to ACET from Steamboat Springs, which is currently in the process of filling his position with another officer, Vanatta said.
Vanatta said he was pleased to have Cameron as ACET commander.
“I think Marvin has done a good job already,” he said. “He has picked up the skills … but like anybody else, there is a learning curve when you go into a role, so he is still learning some of the drug enforcement stuff.”
Vanatta also said he wanted to be sure the new ACET commander had a firm grasp on ethics and values — something he thinks Cameron exhibits.
“He understands the ethical values of our agency, as well as the rest of them that he is going to represent, and the importance of maintaining that environment in a drug task force,” he said.
Cameron said he was both nervous and excited about the promotion.
“I’ve got some big shoes to fill,” he said. “Garrett is going to be missed greatly. He had a lot of experience and knowledge from being on the task force for four or five years.”
Cameron said he would make only minor changes to the task force and plans to keep ACET’s goals much the same.
“I still want to maintain the high level and quality of investigations that we put into some of these cases so that the appropriate district attorney’s office can successfully prosecute these parties involved in the distribution of drugs,” he said.
Most importantly, Cameron said he wants to maintain a high level of ethics and responsibility in the task force, and said he has “always been ethical” in his law enforcement tenure.
“I think that should be important to every officer,” he said. “We should be held to a higher standard and that is just the way it is.”
One of the main reasons Cameron wanted to join ACET, he said, was to help rebuild the task force’s image after “what happened with Ken Johnson and Bob Brabo,” two former Craig Police Department officers and ACET members who were convicted of criminal charges.
But, Cameron said he was also “just ready for a change.”
“I had never been involved in investigations this in-depth,” he said. “So, part of it was to make me a better officer, but it was also probably time for a change from being on the street for 22 years.
“I know a lot of people. I kind of know what is going on.”
Cameron said he has set his sights on helping curb local methamphetamine and cocaine distribution, but remained grounded on his goals.
“Would we like to eliminate cocaine and meth and acid and LSD from our community? Yes, that would be everybody’s goal,” he said. “But, realistically I know that we can’t do that. All we can do is (focus) our investigations in the direction of the drugs.”
Simply put, “we can’t get them all,” Cameron said.
“Every time we take two off, three people step up and they take their places,” he said. “It’s an ongoing battle. I am not naive enough to think we can wipe out meth out of the community because as long as there is a need for it, there is going to be somebody that is going to supply it for them.”
But, Cameron said that won’t stop him from trying to accomplishing ACET’s goals.
“Wherever the drugs are, that’s where our investigations are going,” he said. “All we can do is go out there and actively pursue as many people as we can.”