A little over four years after L dies, in the March of 2009 (2012 in the anime), Near meets with the President of the United States (David Hoope in manga version, and George Sairas in anime version) to discuss Higuchi and the Death Note. Near tells him that the Japanese police possess the notebook and that the real L is dead. With the support of the President, Near joins the newly formed Special Provision for Kira (SPK) group.
On one particular day, Light’s father Soichiro learns that the director of the police, Kanichi Takimura, has been kidnapped and is being ransomed for the Death Note. Soon after, Soichiro gets visited by an FBI agent who asks for the notebook. Soichiro assumes that the FBI were the ones who kidnapped the director, but as Near—who is listening in on the conversation through the agent—soon figures out, there’s another faction at work.
Near quickly learns that Mello—the older of L's two successors raised in Wammy's House—is behind the kidnapping. Four years ago, when the two rivals separated, Mello decided to find Kira his own way by joining the Mafia. He eventually obtains one of the Death Notes after his plan works flawlessly. Afterwards—even though Near tells Light that he could have not done anything to stop Mello even if he would have counterattacked—this unexpected mistake leaves many of the members of the SPK dead after Mello's crew writes their names in the notebook. Only Halle Lidner, Anthony Rester, and Stephen Gevanni are left alive (in the Rewrite 2 version of events, the Mafia plot is excised, with Light meeting Kiyomi Takada and Teru Mikami earlier on and having them kill the SPK instead).
To get the Death Note back, Light later sets up a raid that leaves Mello badly scarred. During these events, Near decides to have the SPK not to take any action, possibly so that he can better examine the actions of the "new" L.
- Near (real name: Nate River) - The first in line to succeed L, and mastermind behind the group.
- Anthony Rester (real name: Anthony Carter) – The second-in-command of the SPK and former special ops squad captain.
- Stephen Gevanni (real name: Stephen Loud) – A skilled lock-picker and investigator, described in How To Read 13 as a "good-looking hotshot" who received an invitation to the SPK for his skills.
- Halle Lidner (real name: Halle Bullook) – A former Secret Service and CIA agent, who states she is on neither Mello nor Near's side, and only wants to capture Kira (despite leaking information to Mello to increase the chances, also appearing to have some attraction to him). She was chosen over Gevanni to infiltrate the bodyguard unit that protects Kiyomi Takada. In order to attain her trust, Lidner acted out the role of a diligent handler while covertly trying to uncover the connection between Takada and Kira. Her motivation in wanting to catch Kira is due to a loved one of hers having been killed by the Yotsuba-Kira Higuchi, as How To Read 13 revealed.
- Steve Mason (Steeve Maison in the Japanese version) – The director of the FBI, who helped Near create the SPK. He dies from the Death Note, after a leak in the SPK.
- John McEnroe (real name: Larry Connors, referred to as John Matckenraw/Rally Connors in the Japanese How To Read 13) – An FBI officer that joined the SPK. It is assumed he died with the other members, though it wasn't shown on panel or in the anime series.
- Ellickson Gardner (real name: Ellickson Thomas) – Another SPK member that dies as a result of the effects of the Death Note.
- Ill Ratt (real name: Shawn Dunleavy referred to as Carl Darlingbin in the Japanese version) – A mole in the SPK, working on behalf of the Mafia and Mello. He dies due to the Death Note, committing suicide by shooting himself in the head. In the anime, he is not revealed to be a spy.
- Elliot Schmidt (it's possible to assume that it's his real name) – The member who died first in Rewrite 2 episodes.
Ohba said that, in terms of visual character design, he wrote descriptions such as "Commander" and "Spy" in rough drafts. He let Obata create the rest of the details. Ohba said that he considered having all of the Task Force members die "in a heroic way."
Obata said that he drew the SPK "without thinking too much" when the group first appeared in Chapter 60. Obata heard that Mello sent a spy, so he tried to make a character look "suspicious looking." Obata said that he had to "work hard" on all of the characters since he did not know which ones would survive. Obata said that he believes that his drawing skills relating to "foreign characters" are poor; he says that he imagines the characters being "from so far away" and that he forgets how to draw them.