Local News Politics

The number of methamphetamine labs found in Kentucky has again increased over last year, as law enforcement officials face dwindling resources in fighting the drug.

The number of meth labs found in Kentucky decreased from 2005 to 2006, but then went up again two years later. Last year, state and local police seized 741 labs. This year’s total lab busts is on track to surpass one thousand.

Kentucky State Police Trooper John Hawkins says law enforcement officers are having trouble keeping up with meth manufacturers, since the process for making the drug is increasingly simple.

“They have all the time in the world that they need and we’re limited by the number of hours that we can work, we’re limited by manpower,” he says. “Unfortunately for us, we work 24 hours a day, but there’s only so many 24-hour days in the workweek.”

Hawkins says while meth production is likely higher, public education campaigns and better police work have also led to more busts.

Hawkins says the number of busts fell in 2005 because of tighter regulations on the over-the-counter pharmaceuticals that are used to make meth. He supports even tighter regulations to curb meth production again.