An independent prosecutors’ office with citywide jurisdiction, the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor (SNP) is responsible for felony narcotics investigations and prosecutions in the five boroughs of New York City. Founded in 1971, it is the only agency of its kind in the United States.
Created in response to a burgeoning heroin epidemic and a related spike in violent crime, SNP was granted broad authority under New York State Judiciary Laws to root out sophisticated narcotics trafficking organizations and track offenders across traditional jurisdictional boundaries. Since its inception, SNP has worked closely with local, state and federal law enforcement partners to improve the lives of New Yorkers by making neighborhoods safer.
The office’s far-reaching cases target major trafficking networks that distribute narcotics in the city, across the United States and around the world. Renowned for its expertise in wiretap investigations, SNP uses cutting-edge electronic technology to identify and pursue members of criminal enterprises from street-level dealers to top suppliers. Recognizing the link between drugs and violence, the office also investigates gang-related activity.
Bridget G. Brennan was appointed as Special Narcotics Prosecutor by the city’s five District Attorneys on May 1, 1998. Under her direction, the office has developed innovative strategies to stem the flow of drugs into the city. The office is committed to reducing demand for narcotics by raising public awareness and facilitating treatment for addicted offenders. Since assuming leadership of the office, Ms. Brennan established the Narcotics Gang Unit and the Money Laundering and Financial Investigation Unit and expanded the Alternative Sentencing Division.
A prosecutor for more than 25 years, Ms. Brennan oversees a staff of more than 200 legal and support personnel. SNP maintains its own budget for operating expenses and is funded by the city, state and federal government. Assistant District Attorneys are assigned to SNP by the five District Attorneys’ Offices and serve in one of three divisions: the Special Investigation Division, the Trial Division and the Alternative Sentencing Division.
Cases are brought to SNP by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Administration; New York Drug Enforcement Task Force; the U.S. Postal Service; the New York City Police Department's Organized Crime Control Bureau, Patrol Bureau and Organized Crime Investigation Division; New York State Police; Port Authority Police; and the office's Investigators Division.
Community participation is vital to SNP’s unique mission. The Director of Community Outreach meets with community and religious leaders, block associations, the New York City Housing Authority and other groups to address local drug problems, while conferring regularly with NYPD officials to devise strategies to combat crime.