Lack of Funding Hurts Authorities Involved in Meth Lab Clean-up

By: Vanessa Araiza Email
By: Vanessa Araiza Email

As Dothan Police Sergeant Rachel David says, it can take just one trash bag to cause chaos when a meth lab is involved.

“We have had at least one incident I remember in Dothan where a bag was picked up and thrown into the bag of a garbage truck by a trash man who unbeknown to them contained meth lab left overs. The bag exploded and a fire began in the back of the truck,” said David.

David says cases like these are reason enough for needed specialists to rid homes of the deadly chemicals.

But, in February the federal government cancelled a program that provided millions of dollars to help fund agencies to properly dispose of the labs.

David says, “this is certainly affecting many areas anywhere that funds are cut, certainly it is a challenge coming up with the difference.”

A typical meth lab clean up can cost anywhere from two to three thousand dollars.

With little to no money to use, David says the department is pulling from other accounts to battle the drug epidemic.

“This is certainly not a fight that we can end because there has been a change in the funding so it's very important, not only the Dothan police department but our fellow law enforcement agencies in our area, we are going to look for new and improved ways. New grants other funding, other resources,” said David.

Houston County Sheriff's deputies aren't waiting on a check to come in.

Instead, members are getting qualified as clean up specialists.

Captain Tony Gonzalez says the department clears at least 5 meth labs a month.

He says having a local team will save thousands and hopefully make a dent in the war on drugs.

Gonzalez says deputies should be complete with their training sometime in October.

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  • by Anonymous on Aug 13, 2011 at 09:41 AM
    How come you don't get these old meth heads to clean up the labs ? They are already messed up in their brains so it want hurt them none ? Yall could pay them a little bit, maybe enough to support their habits. They usually go back to it after they get out of jail any way. Give them a uniform and say this is your job. They'd be tickle to death to have a job.
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