Police teaching contractors about meth dump sites

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WHITLEY CITY, Ky. (WVLT) - Police are finding more meth dump sites than ever before.

They can be anywhere: on the side of the road, in the woods, even on a playground.

That's why one sheriff's department is reaching out to everyone in their county and surrounding areas.

The Scott County Sheriff's Office wants to make sure everyone can recognize a meth lab so that if they come in contact with one, they will know what to do.

Highland Telephone Cooperative reached out to Scott County about a month ago to ask if they could come in and show them not just what a meth lab looks like, but what it could mean if a worker comes in contact with one.

"And at least 23% of our callers are from utility workers that they find this stuff on the side of the roads," said Drug Agent Kris Lewallen.

That's why Agent Lewallen crossed the state line to teach telephone contractors in McCreary county what to do if they come across a meth lab.

"If they were to open the bottle, inhale the chemicals, they could have respiratory problems. If they were to open the bottle and come in contact with the chemical, they could have chemical burns. Or if they were to touch the lithium metal that's in it, they could have actual flash burns," said Lewallen.

He's already talked to workers in Sunbright and Onieda, and many other people in Scott County.

"We've been to both the high schools in Scott County. We've been to all the church youth groups, we've been to all the middle schools and spoke to 6th-8th grade," said Lewallen.

This presentation also shows the impact drugs have on the entire region.

"We show them what kind of an affect it's having on our community, our people, what it's doing tax-dollars wise. WE give them the whole story about it, not just what to look for," said Lewallen.

Lewallen hopes by reaching as many people as possible, the fight against meth can start turning the other way.

He says the number of meth labs in Scott County increased 67% from 2011 to 2012. He expects this year's total to double that.

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