Special Projects (Methamphetamine)
In 1997, law enforcement agencies were inundated with large illegal quantities of hazardous waste, chemicals and debris due to the production of methamphetamine. At the direction of the governor the Missouri Methamphetamine Enforcement and Environmental Protection Task Force formed to address this and other issues related to the burgeoning meth problem. Under the direction of the Special Projects Unit, numerous local, state and federal agencies and organizations banded together and created the Clandestine Drug Lab Collection Station program.
Methamphetamine is dangerous and the methods of making methamphetamine are toxic, hazardous and volatile. Since the late 1990s, methamphetamine labs have created a serious problem for many areas, see History. To answer a growing need, the Special Projects Unit created the Clandestine Drug Lab Collection Station program.
Clandestine Drug Lab Collection Stations are specially designed buildings that provide safe, legal and secure locations where enforcement can manage and temporarily store seized meth lab chemicals pending processing and proper disposal. The department provides technical and financial assistance to local fire service and law enforcement agencies to operate 17 collection stations throughout the state.
The Special Projects Unit works closely with the Missouri State Highway Patrol to sponsor a variety of specialized methamphetamine laboratory training at the Highway Patrol's Training Academy. As of Feb. 1, 2012, more than 1,000 people have been certified to enter and dismantle clandestine methamphetamine laboratories through a 40-hour Hazardous Waste and Emergency Response for Methamphetamine Laboratories,
An 8-hour Hazardous Waste and Emergency Response for Methamphetamine Laboratories Re-Certification is also offered at Highway Patrol Troop Headquarters. Another training course offered at the Training Academy is a 24-hour Site Safety Officer for Methamphetamine Laboratories.