ONEIDA, NY - 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 and/or incidents across New York State has more than doubled in comparison to 2011.
Major Rodney Campbell, Troop D Commander said, “State Police have seen a huge increase in methamphetamine labs particularly in the northern counties of Troop D. 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.”
Major 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 State Police responded to 45 labs and/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 ten year span from 1989-1998, when reported labs and/or incidents totaled less than 5.
The State Police specialty unit that responds to these labs and/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. In Fulton: 315-593-6194; in Pulaski: 315-298-1444.