In 1971 participating law enforcement agencies in Oakland County, in conjunction with the Michigan State Police, formed an inter-agency task force known as the Oakland County Narcotics Enforcement Team, or N.E.T. This was the first multi-agency concept team of its kind in Michigan and Ferndale became a charter member providing an officer to the undercover team. In January of 2001 the Oakland County Sheriffï¿½s Department assumed lead agency responsibilities as the Michigan State Police opted out of the program.
The primary goal of N.E.T. has been to eliminate or reduce controlled substance trafficking in Oakland County through investigations leading to the identification, apprehension, prosecution and conviction of controlled substance dealers. Objectives of the undercover unit are to provide law enforcement agencies throughout Oakland County with the capabilities of detection, surveillance and apprehension of persons who violate controlled substance laws across jurisdictional boundaries and to provide a means of training officers in the techniques of controlled substance related law enforcement.
Funding for the unit is provided by Oakland County who provides all vehicles, equipment, buy money and office space. Local communities through a special assessment based on population and through asset forfeiture provide additional operating funds.