The Baker Administration is reaching out to law enforcement to improve ways local police can crackdown on abuses of welfare benefits.

"If you have bad actors out there that are abusing this program, taking advantage of it and turning cash into illegal activities, like drug activity, or prostitution, or gambling, that is not acceptable in our Commonwealth," Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito told WGBH News Thursday morning.

The Department of Transitional Assistance held a day-long summit in Boston Thursday to instruct law enforcement officials in new ways to combat EBT fraud and the misuse of federal SNAP benefits.

One of those strategies is to give police departments live EBT cards with funds on them for undercover operations aimed at routing out retailers complicit in fraud.

Much of the session was closed to the press because the law enforcement officials were working with data on ongoing investigations. Much of Polito's and DTA commissioner Jeff McCue's public remarks concerned the need to stop retailers from accepting EBT fraud and ensuring the integrity of the benefit system.

Detective Rich Porro from the Dedham Police Department attended the summit and said much of his enforcement of EBT laws has involved individuals misusing the debit-like cards.

"From my perspective it's predominantly individuals, but when questioned it can lead to businesses also," Porro said.

"When you talk to these people and you ask them about [EBT cards] and they'll tell you very often that they can use them in a variety of places. That's not a problem for them, to use other people's," Porro said.

EBT fraudsters, Porro said, abuse the system deliberately, under the mentality that "if they don't take it, someone else will."

Polito said 111 of the state's 351 communities have joined in agreement with DTA to share information and strategies for cracking down on benefit fraud.

"This is so important for the integrity for what the mission of DTA is all about. Making sure that the people who need help the most in this Commonwealth get access to these benefits," Polito said.