September 21, 2001, Friday
Washington, D.C.- Attorney General, John Ashcroft, and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) today announced $5.2 million in funding to provide training to combat the production and distribution of methamphetamine.
The funding will support the development of a regional training center in California that will provide instruction to more than 1,400 law enforcement personnel in methamphetamine lab investigations, and the safe disposition of methamphetamine labs seized by police. This training will be made available to state and local law enforcement agencies located in California, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana.
Additional funds will provide methamphetamine awareness training to law enforcement personnel, policymakers, and community members in cities and towns across America that are just beginning to experience the consequences of methamphetamine manufacture, distribution, and use.
"The safety threats and destructive potential posed by methamphetamine extend far beyond the users," said COPS Director Carl R. Peed. "Meth places entire communities at risk, and we are committed to strengthening the capacity of state and local law enforcement to fight the spread of methamphetamine."
Methamphetamine, which is commonly referred to as "meth" or "crank", represents the fastest growing drug threat in America. Primarily a drug that was concentrated in southwestern states, it has spread rapidly. Due to its characteristics, methamphetamine is difficult to detect, highly explosive during the manufacturing process, creates hazardous waste, and poses a significant danger to the communities in which it is manufactured.
Recent studies indicate methamphetamine use in America nearly tripled between 1994 and 1999. Hospitals in the United States reported over 10,000 emergency room visits related to methamphetamine use in 1999 alone. On a list of 85 death causing drugs in the country, methamphetamine ranks sixth.
To date, COPS has invested $128.7 million dollars to address this critical issue. Forty million of these funds have gone directly to the Drug Enforcement Administration for training and clandestine lab clean up.