State and local law enforcement agencies are joining forces in the fight to control methamphetamines. Monday morning the directors of the FDLE, DEA and the Office of Drug Control held a press conference to announce a new strategy they feel will make a statement about their commitment to putting an end to this.
In the 2003 fiscal year, Florida ranked sixth in the nation for methamphetamine seizures with 229 statewide, six of those here in the panhandle. Monday morning FDLE commissioner Guy Tunnell, Miami field DEA director Tom Raffanello and the Office of Drug Control director James McDonough signed an agreement to join forces in the fight against drugs in the Sunshine State.
“We are making a statement to the bad guys that the gloves are off and we are combining our forces collectively and focusing on this situation in the state of Florida,” said Tunnell.
The implementation of regional task forces through out the state will increase the number of lab certified officers and decrease the amount of man hours required for local agencies.
“It takes several days to clear out a lab and we feel we can cut down by tens of thousands of hours officers have to be on scene in each region they will know where their help is. they will know where their lab trucks are and they will have a finite understanding of the resources in that region,” said Thomas Raffanello.
Office of Drug Control director James McDonough also added that this measure will expand the pool and make it a more systematic way for officers to respond.
In prior years central Florida was where the majority of labs were found, but in the past few years the panhandle and north Florida have become problem areas, so the task force is hoping to change that.