Law enforcement from Barbour County and surrounding areas received specialized training Wednesday in an effort to help stop drug trafficking.
Drug trafficking in the United States is a $455 billion dollar a year industry.
The Drug Interdiction Program offers training to help law enforcement keep up with the ever changing ways in which traffickers transport and hide drugs.
Barbour County Chief Sherriff’s Deputy Eddie Ingram said, “We've noticed an increase in crime over the last six months. They know the techniques we've used to catch them on the streets. Four out of five crimes involve mobility so it's a lot easier to catch them on the highways than it is in the communities. But they are changing every day what they do.”
Officials say Atlanta is a major hub for drug trafficking. Narcotics such as marijuana, crack cocaine, methamphetamines and other drugs are transported from there across our highways to other locations in the southeast.
Classroom training helps officials indentify traffickers who do their best to blend in with the public. It also helps them identify the very creative ways criminals hide drugs and other contraband.
All the training law enforcement gets in the classroom they then take with them to the streets.
Hands on training helps officials find all the ever changing hiding places for drugs. Officials say the training makes them more effective.
“The very first stop I made, I intercepted 23 kilos of cocaine, which has a street value of $2 million dollars worth of dope,” said John Greene, with the Abbeville Police Department.
It’s all a part of a massive effort to help get drugs off the streets and out of our communities.
Law enforcement is working on getting more officers trained. Currently, only five percent of officers in the country get this training.