War against meth
The illegal drug methamphetamine is a scary reality for many small towns like Hartselle.
When a person moves into a new town and sets up a meth lab, local law enforcement almost immediately see an increase in theft, forgery, burglary and domestic violence.
These are crimes that touch honest, hard working, law-abiding citizens.
Meth is not only dangerous to those who produce and use it, but also to those exposed to its harmful chemicals.
If a lab is not found by police, the hazardous chemicals are left behind. Anyone who enters an abandoned meth lab will unknowingly be subjected to an array of toxic, unstable vapors.
The risk of health hazards and possible chemical explosions is a real possibility.
Some meth producers actually attempt to remove these harmful chemicals once they shut down the lab and prepare to move on to a new town.
According to Narcotics Investigator Tony Fetner, the meth producer's cleanup consists of putting the hazardous materials on the side of the road for curbside garbage pickup, exposing the public at large to a variety of dangers.
A contracted cleanup by a hazardous materials company is the only way to completely make a meth lab site safe once again.
The cost of each cleanup is approximately $4,000, paid with taxpayers' money.
Meth is a drug that touches each citizen, whether we realize it or not.Community awareness is our first defense in fighting meth.