on Thu 28 Sep 2006 02:36 PM EDT | Permanent Link
SPENCER: MORE HELP NEEDED TO BATTLE METH
PLEDGES TO FIGHT FOR MORE FEDERAL AID FOR NY STATE
"One sees the obvious need for increased federal support for law enforcement,
first responders and the Haz-Mat crews that deal with lab and dump sites."
At a morning news conference in Bath, NY, John Spencer, the Republican and Conservative candidate for U.S. Senate, called for increased federal aid in the battle against “Meth Labs” in New York’s Southern Tier.
Joining Mayor Spencer at the news conference, which took place in front of the County Jail, were Steuben County District Attorney John Tunney and Sheriff Richard Tweddell.
“I came to Steuben County today to call for increased federal assistance in the war on Methamphetamines and in particular assistance in helping states and local governments deal with the problems created by “meth labs’ and “dump sites’ located within their boundaries," said Spencer.
Spencer noted that crystal meth is a drug that creates a wide range of challenges in the communities where it is a problem.
"The problems it creates go far beyond the typical incidents of increased crime and decreased quality of life associated with most drugs," explained Spencer. "Meth, directly and indirectly, threatens the health and well being of family members, neighbors, first responders, and the environment every time a lab or dump site is discovered. It is a drug that is highly addictive, fairly easy to manufacture and relatively inexpensive. But its biggest threat lies in its volatility during production and the toxic by-products it creates; every pound produced in a lab creates 5 pounds of toxic waste. This waste is almost always dumped indiscriminately into to the environment and an active lab is constantly at risk of exploding.”
The most recent report issued by the DEA (2005) shows an increase in use and manufacture of methamphetamines in 3 regions of the country. New York State falls into two of those regions; the Great Lakes and the Northeast. And while use has stabilized in the New York City metro area, it has increased in rural upstate areas. Seizures of labs or dump sites in the state rose from 2 in the year 2000 to 20 in 2005.
The increase in states to our south and west were even greater and presents a disturbing trend. When local law enforcement (nationwide) was asked which drug was viewed as posing the greatest threat 39.2% said Methamphetamines, with 4 drug types dividing the remaining 60.8%.
“Meth labs clustered in the vicinity of state borders present unique problems for law enforcement. Couple that with the rural nature of this region on both the Pennsylvania and New York sides of the border and one sees the obvious need for increased federal support for law enforcement, first responders and the Haz-Mat crews that deal with lab and dump sites. As Senator, I’ll fight to see that New York receives its fair share of federal support.”