Comments Off on Montgomery County’s war on Methamphetamine getting expensive

CLARKSVILLE, TN (WSMV) – With nearly one meth lab bust per week and dwindling funding for officers, Montgomery County Sheriff John Fuson is asking for help in the war on meth. 5055453_G

The growing number of meth labs is not just an explosive danger, it’s quickly becoming a burden on manpower and resources in Montgomery County.

“Tennessee has been bouncing back and forth with Indiana for the top spot in the country for meth labs that are seized,” Fuson said. “Montgomery County’s ranking in the state has been fourth.”

In Montgomery County, there have been 20 meth lab busts since the beginning of the year, and 12 in just the last 90 days. Last month, there were two busts in one morning along Madison Street and Wilma Rudolph Boulevard in Clarksville.

“About 50 man-hours is what it takes,” Fuson said. “You multiply that by three people and you’ve got a big issue there.”

Police don’t want to discourage tips from the public, but the war on meth is getting costly. The drug task force recently lost a $75,000 grant.

“That grant has been paying for one employee plus some operating expenses, some communications, some building rent, gasoline for cars, things like that,” Fuson said.

It can be tough for police to find funding. In many cases, fines are waived. Police can’t confiscate belongings from the home because they’re contaminated with chemicals.

Since so much time is spent on investigating and decontaminating meth labs, other drug seizures are down. Money from assets seized in those busts isn’t there to fund another paycheck.

Monday night, Fuson asked county commissioners for nearly $84,000 to afford at least two salaries.

Even with that money, the drug task force is still down a man.

“We are going to continue to work meth labs like we’ve been working,” Fuson said. “We’re either going to get the resources to keep a leg up on that or we’re not.”

Commissioners should have a decision on the budget for the drug task force on Monday. Meanwhile, Fuson has also reached out to the Clarksville police chief and mayor for help.




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