Meth Lab Law Enforcement Training comes to Dothan

By: Muriel Bailey Email
By: Muriel Bailey Email

DOTHAN, AL--It's a common encounter for area officers and most see it as an unknown danger.

"It's kind of entering an unknown situation you don't know what these cooks have made," said Troy University Police Officer Paul Motzenbecker.

"Meth labs and other clandestine drug labs are extremely dangerous," said Troy University's Dothan Public Safety Coord. Jim Smith.

So to make sure officers are fully prepared local agencies are conducting the very first certification program in Dothan.

"In the past agents had to travel to a 150 mile away facility or they had to hire a vendor to come in which costs about 12 to 20,000 dollars for us to teach the classes," said Smith.

Instructors filled the room with items you usually find in a meth lab. Things like cold medicine, matches and even devices.

"They'll make an entry, assess the lab and determine if there's any hazards."

"It's been real informative. We've learned a lot of dangers of entering a meth lab, how easily you can get contaminated. The types of chemicals they're using," said Motzenbecker.

Officer Paul Motzenbecker says knowing what kind of chemicals are in the room is very important.

"Officer awareness a lot of guys when they encounter meth labs they're not familiar with the chemicals."

Motzenbecker says the best part of training is being able to learn from his mistakes so he can go home safe after each encounter.

This was the last day of the 45 hour course.

The training was a combined effort from Dothan's Fire and Police departments, Houston County Sheriff's Office and Troy University Police.

District attorney Doug Valeska provided jump drives with all the material from the course for each officer to take home and keep for reference.

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