In an effort aimed at saving the state hundreds of thousands of dollars and narcotics officers countless hours the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics installed a methamphetamine lab storage container at the Carter County Sheriff's Department Friday.
OBN Director Darrell Weaver said the secured metal storage facility was one of several being installed at various locations throughout the state. The container at the CCSD will service not only law enforcement agencies in Carter County but surrounding counties as well.
The theory behind the storage containers
Weaver said prior to the installation of the lab storage containers when narcotics officers dismantled a lab they had to call an environmental cleanup company to come to the scene to remove and dispose of the toxic and often volatile lab components.
Each clean up cost the state thousands of dollars. In addition, officers spent hours waiting at the scene of labs for clean up crews to arrive and then complete their work.
"Instead of officers waiting and being tied up for several hours, officers who have been trained to safely remove the lab, will bring them to this location," Weaver said, adding all lab materials will be deactivated before being placed in the container.
Once the container is full a clean up company will be called in to dispose of the multiple labs stored inside.
Sheriff Ken Grace, Ardmore Police Chief Keith Mann, Sen. Frank Simpson, Rep. Tommy Hardin and a number of narcotics officers from OBN, CCSD and APD were present to observe the installation and get their first look at the new container. In addition, to the clean-up cost savings and the reduction of officer man hours, Weaver told the group the cost of the actual container had been reduced by more than $17,000 per repository.
"The quote for manufacturing each container was $19,000. Through a partnership with the Department of Corrections, inmates are constructing them for $1,900 each," Weaver said.
While the container is installed in a secured location, Weaver demonstrated for the group the security elements of the building itself aimed at preventing break-ins and/or accidents.
Weaver also commended the Grace, Mann and the legislators for their continued support and involvement in the war on drugs. He described OBN's relationship with the CCSD and APD as a true partnership.
"We're friends, we're not just talking heads," he said.
Grace said he was pleased to be able to offer a location for the storage container.
"We are very appreciative of OBN and our relationship with them," he said.
Mann also talked about the cooperative effort between local agencies .
"We're very pleased with the good working relationship as well as the OBN resources available to us," the chief said.
Simpson and Hardin said they were not only impressed by the latest innovation in riding the state of meth labs, but with the overall relationship the agencies enjoyed.
"This is a classic example of a cooperative relationship that is saving the taxpayers money," Simpson said.