DICKSON CITY — Joseph Klecha is the man state police said is responsible for hitting four state troopers with his vehicle during an undercover drug bust using his jeep liberty.
Police said it all happened in the parking lot of the Viewmont Mall in Dickson City, a busy spot.
“Determining where the take-down is going to take place is very difficult on the law enforcement end because it`s unpredictable where that subject, especially when you`re dealing with a drug dealer, where that subject is going to take you,” said Daniel Duffy, the head of Lackawanna College’s police academy
Duffy is the new head of Lackawanna College’s police academy. He is the former chief of police in Scranton.
Earlier this month in Scranton`s park place neighborhood, shots were fired during an undercover drug bust.
Police said two suspects tried to run over officers with a vehicle during the bust, then one of the police officers fired his weapon. No one was hit.
Duffy did undercover work, himself, and says it is difficult, especially undercover narcotics work.
Drug busts are always dangerous.
“It`s difficult when you`re in a desolate area, surveillance is difficult at that point so now there`s an increased risk to law enforcement, now when you look at it in a populated area, now there`s an increased risk to the public, so there`s this balance,” said Duffy.
Duffy says law enforcement officers are trained to protect themselves and the public. And most of the time, no one gets hurt.
“It really is by coincidence that we had two incidents that resulted in a high level of danger, but this happens, I want to say daily, that we are taking drug dealers down throughout law enforcement and it`s not happening with these types of results where there is that increased level of danger,” said Duffy.