Commander John Burke
President, Pharmaceutical Diversion Education Inc.
Warren County Drug Task Force
Commander John Burke was with the Cincinnati Police Division for 32 years and is now the Commander of the Warren County Ohio Drug Task Force. He formed the Police Division’s Pharmaceutical Diversion Squad (PDS) in 1990 and commanded that unit until October 1999 when he retired to help address the drug problems of a neighboring county. The PDS was considered by many to be the top pharmaceutical diversion unit in the United States. Law enforcement officers from across the country have trained under the guidance of his investigators. The PDS was featured on NBC’s Dateline for their efforts in the pursuit of health care professionals involved in the illegal diversion of pharmaceutical drugs from health care facilities. The segment highlighted the tremendous success made by the squad in identifying and combating drug diversion in hospitals, nursing homes, and home health care.
Commander Burke currently oversees the Warren County Drug Task Force and the Southwest Ohio High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA). This task force employees 17 individuals representing federal (FBI, DEA, ATF), state (BCI), Ohio National Guard, and local law enforcement agencies that come together to pursue mid to upper level drug traffickers throughout the United States.
Commander Burke has conducted hundreds of presentations on the subject of pharmaceutical diversion. He has the ability to help a wide array of attendees identify the problems, find the solutions, and institute a preventative program. The message is conveyed in a simple, common sense manner, satisfying the needs of the particular audience being addressed. The utilization of a variety of audio visuals with touches of humor makes the presentations interesting and enjoyable.
Commander Burke has written numerous articles that have been seen in health professional, law enforcement, and human resource publications across the country. He is the author of a monthly column that appears in Pharmacy Times magazine, and the editor of Rxnews, an Internet list server dealing with issues of prescription drug abuse. He is the current President of the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators.