The NORPAC Task Force was formed in 1987 under a grant by the US Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). The BJA is a branch of the US Justice Department and one of its missions is to funnel federal law enforcement grant money to the states. In 1988 the Massachusetts Committee on Criminal Justice was the state agency responsible for doling out federal money to state and local police departments. Eventually, that responsibility shifted to the Office of Grants and Research at the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS). In 2008, due to reductions in BJA funding to Massachusetts, EOPSS stopped funding multi-agency task forces. In spite of the elimination of federal funding, NORPAC continues to operate, funded entirely by its member police departments.
Originally called the Northern Norfolk Drug Task Force, the unit was comprised of detectives from ten police departments in Norfolk County and its only mission was narcotics enforcement. Federal money allocated by EOPSS was used to purchase equipment and defray the overtime costs of protracted investigations. As years went by, the task force grew to its current size of fifteen communities.
In 1996, EOPSS encouraged task forces to expand their multi-jurisdictional approach to encompass serial crime, violent crime, crimes committed by traveling criminals and the apprehension of fugitives. As a result, the chiefs of the task force’s member police departments upgraded its mission and changed its name to the Norfolk County Police Anti-Crime Task Force, or NORPAC. The chiefs also signed a Memorandum of Agreement extending arrest authority throughout the region to officers working for the fifteen departments. This allowed officers to work together more efficiently.
Today, the NORPAC Task Force serves the towns of Canton, Dedham, Foxborough, Medfield, Millis, Needham, Norfolk, Norwood, Plainville, Sharon, Stoughton, Walpole, Westwood, Wellesley and Wrentham. The director of the NORPAC Task Force is Deputy Chief William G. Brooks of the Wellesley Police Department. NORPAC’s financial officer is Detective Sergeant Robert W. Rinn of the Norwood Police Department.