Troopers Remind Public of Dangers of Clandestine Drug Labs

New York State Police  news

(Oneida, NY – Nov. 15, 2012) In the past year, the New York State Police has responded to a growing number of clandestine drug labs. In 2012, the number of responses to these labs or incidents across New York state has more than doubled in comparison to 2011.

“State Police have seen a huge increase in methamphetamine labs particularly in the northern counties of Troop D,” said Major Rodney W. Campbell, Troop D Commander. “These labs are dangerous and costly, both in terms of dollars and public safety. We can’t stress enough the importance of the public’s ability to identify these labs and dumpsites should they come across one due to the dangers of the chemicals used.”

Campbell wants to remind the public that many household items including cold medicine, paint thinner and batteries are among the ingredients used in making the methamphetamine. Last year, Troopers responded to 45 labs or incidents. In 2012, that response number is 127.

In Troop D, responses have grown from 23 in 2011 to 57 in 2012.

These numbers are in far contrast to a 10-year span from 1989 to 1998, when reported labs or incidents totaled fewer than five.

The State Police specialty unit that responds to these labs or incidents is CCSERT (Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team). CCSERT responds to any clandestine drug lab and also crime scenes or potential crime scenes that could have nuclear, biological, chemical or explosive contamination present. They perform a law enforcement role that ensures public safety, while collecting evidence to prosecute suspects in court.

Other State Police units that work collaboratively with CCSERT include SORT (Special Operations Response Team) and CNET (Community Narcotics Enforcement Team); 44 members of CCSERT are also members of SORT. There are five regional teams – North, South, West, Central and Capital – that train and respond daily, providing their specialized services to communities and law enforcement agencies across the state.

CNET or Community Narcotics Enforcement Team has five teams across New York state focused on fighting drugs and street crime. CNET works to arrest drug traffickers, confiscate their drugs and seize any illegally acquired assets. The teams can also be deployed to help local law enforcement during drug or illegal gun investigations.

If anyone comes across a potential meth lab or have concerns of suspicious activity, they are asked to contact the New York State Police.

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