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Managing the Meth Mess

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 33 Issue: 5 Dated: May 2006 Pages: 8,10,12,14
Jennifer Mertens
Date Published
May 2006
5 pages
This article describes how the Hermiston Police Department (Oregon) and the Salina Police Department and Sheriff's Office (Kansas) have countered methamphetamine production in their jurisdictions.
In Umatilla County, where Hermiston is located, there were 39 meth labs last year, one of the highest in the Nation per capita. The previous year there were 91 meth labs. The significant reduction in meth labs is due largely to State laws that have controlled the sale of meth precursor products, namely pseudoephedrine products. Because of the hazardous materials involved in meth production, Hermiston officers attend special hazmat training every year. The training focuses on how to obtain information from a suspicious site at a safe distance and then provide this information to the fire/hazmat teams. Evacuation plans are in place. In Saline County, Kan., a Federal grant of $222,000 helped to combat the meth problem. This money went toward equipment, public education, signs, billboards, and radio and newspaper advertising. The county's Meth Task Force Web site was also created through the grant; it includes an anonymous tip line and news updates. The police have informed retailers about the warning signs that customers purchases might be supplies for a meth lab, such as purchases of large quantities of starter fluid, pseudoephedrine, etc.