Spike in meth labs sparks training session - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Spike in meth labs sparks training session

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By Sarah Baldwin - bio | email

August 1, 2008

BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) - Clandestine meth labs are popping up all over the country and south Georgia is no exception.

In fact, law enforcers have seen a spike in the meth epidemic in our area recently.   "We've got the same problem as everybody else as far as being able to identify them and know what they look like and how they're manufacturing them," said Decatur County Fire and Rescue Chief Charlie McCann.

That's what DEA agents from Atlanta wanted to get across to the group of over 70 who showed up today.   "We had a pretty good turnout from all branches: fire, law and EMS are here today," said McCann. 

Harry Thornton, Public Affairs Specialist for the DEA added, "It's really important to keep first responders and others up to date regarding manufacturing and use of meth."

First responders say by attending this class, meth education is improved, and in effect, enforcement is too.  "Some of these calls we go on, there are things we wouldn't look twice at.  But now that we've had this class, if we see the same things we'll be like 'That looks a little suspicious,'" said McCann.

Another point agents emphasized is that meth labs aren't just dangerous to the users and the general public. They're extremely dangerous for first responders when they discover them.   "They need to be aware these labs are toxic, poisonous.  They can be hurt severely, even cause death," said Thornton.

Agents hope the infomation they shared will save lives. And shut down dangerous operations contributing to the meth epidemic.   DEA agents say local law enforcers should call them or other licensed agencies, for help cleaning up meth lab sites.

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