Date: January 8, 2001 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact: Sterling Ivey, 863 534-6377 or 819-0221 pager
News Briefing Set for Tuesday, January 9, at 3:30 P.M. to Announce PCSO as Recipient of a  Meth "Hot Spots" Grant

The Polk County Sheriff's Office has recently been awarded a $250,000 Federal grant by the Bureau of Justice Assistance to fight methamphetamine organizations in Polk County. 

A longtime methamphetamine trafficker stated in a TV interview, "if you thought the cocaine wars were bad, brother, you ain't seen anything yet, 'cause the Amphetamine Wars are going to be ten times worse." 

Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr. agrees, "we have to do something now about methamphetamines and this grant will surely help." 

The grant will focus on coordinated multi-agency law enforcement activities to detect, identify, target, assess, and counter methamphetamine trafficking, manufacture and abuse; interact with the El Paso Intelligence Center to collect, process, and disseminate intelligence information concerning illicit drug and currency movement, alien smuggling, weapons trafficking, and related activity; train law enforcement officers and firefighters in the appropriate recognition, collection, removal and destruction of methamphetamine and clandestine laboratories; community outreach and education through various means, including promotion of the 533-DRUG phone number to report drug activity; precursor chemical monitoring to monitor the purchase of unusual quantities or combinations of precursor chemicals; and partner with the Drug Enforcement Agency as well as other health and environmental agencies in the clean up of hazardous chemicals from clandestine methamphetamine laboratories. 

An important aspect of this grant initiative is public awareness and education. There will a kick-off news briefing Tuesday, January 9, 2001 at 3:30 p.m. at the Polk County Sheriff's Office, Operations Center, 455 North Broadway in Bartow. 

In attendance with Sheriff Crow will be Bob Michelotti, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration; Larry Alexander, Director Polk County Public Safety; and representatives from the Lakeland Board of Realtors, East Polk Board of Realtors, CrimeStoppers, Scotty's, and Walgreen's. 

During the news briefing, Sheriff Crow will briefly explain the history of the meth problem in Polk County, how the grant will be used, and the educational and awareness aspects of the grant. There will be good photo opportunities with educational materials available, a mobile methamphetamine lab with ingredients all of which were purchased at a local business, and confiscated methamphetamine.

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Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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