Funding for Clandestine Laboratory Training and Cleanup

Funding for Clandestine Laboratory Training and Cleanup

Resolution

WHEREAS, law enforcement agencies have been confronting growing problems concerning clandestine chemical laboratories, mainly used for the illegal production of methamphetamine; and

WHEREAS, there has been a large increase in the number of these laboratories, as evidenced in the State of California where the number of clandestine laboratories seized has increased from 554 in 1994 to 1,405 in 1998; and

WHEREAS, what was once considered a problem only for western states has now spread to America’s heartland and beyond with over 5,365 laboratories discovered in 1998, including 679 in Missouri and 445 in Arkansas; and

WHEREAS, law enforcement officers who encounter these volatile and explosive laboratory sites, either as a first responder or as an officer assigned to dismantle and clear the laboratory, must have comprehensive training and safety equipment to protect their lives and health; and

WHEREAS, Section 1910.10 of the Code of Federal Regulations requires law enforcement personnel responding to clandestine laboratory sites where toxic chemicals are present to pass a minimum 24-hour safety training course consistent with OSHA standards, as well as an annual 8-hour recertification course; and

WHEREAS, the highly specialized training necessary to handle these clandestine laboratory situations and comply with federal regulations is for the most part provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) at their training facility at Quantico, Virginia, and special regional training sites on an ad hoc basis, with a supplemental training resource available through the California Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement in that state; and

WHEREAS, the DEA has steadily increased the training provided to state and local agencies over the last five years and will train over 1,000 officers through the Basic Clandestine Laboratory Certification Course this year as well as initiate “train the trainer” instructional programs to be implemented in local training programs throughout the country; and

WHEREAS, an integral part of Basic Clandestine Laboratory Certification training is providing sufficient safety equipment to each attendee that can then be used in conjunction with their training when they return to their local communities and respond to these volatile lab situations; and

WHEREAS, the necessary safety equipment for each officer, which costs approximately $2,500 and is a heavy financial burden that has been recognized by the federal government and DEA, is provided to each attendee at said DEA training course; and

WHEREAS, the increasing number of clandestine laboratory situations and the expansion of the problem to all areas of the country is indicative of a growing need for such training to protect the health and safety of law enforcement officers; and,

WHEREAS, law enforcement and local government agencies must oversee the dismantling of the laboratories and the removal of these dangerous chemicals in compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency and federal and state regulations; and

WHEREAS, the cost of cleaning up and removing these chemicals in compliance with law and environmental regulations is extremely expensive and not an expenditure provided for in state and local law enforcement budgets; now, therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the International Association of Chiefs of Police duly assembled at its 106th Annual Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, strongly urges Congress to continue to provide regular funding to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to ensure that said training can be provided to law enforcement officers throughout the country, both in basic safety awareness classes for first responders as well as Basic and Advanced Clandestine Laboratory Certification courses, and that the resource assistance provided by the DEA to state and local enforcement personnel receiving this training include proper and sufficient safety equipment to do their job safely; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Congress provide funding sources through programs such as COPS, Byrne Grants, Bureau of Justice Administration, ONDCP, its HIDTA groups, and others so that state and local agencies can apply for funding to conduct said training in their jurisdictions which comply with the requirements of Section 1910.120 to keep up with this increasing demand; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the IACP strongly urges Congress to establish a permanent funding structure that will provide adequate financial resources on a national basis to continue the safe and environmentally sound disposition of clandestine chemical laboratories.

Resolution
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