Despite cutbacks, ETX law enforcement refuse retreat in meth war - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Despite cutbacks, ETX law enforcement refuse retreat in meth war

Nacogdoches County Constable, Precinct 4, Jason Bridges Nacogdoches County Constable, Precinct 4, Jason Bridges
Sergeant Allen Hill, Angelina County Sheriff's Office- Narcotics Sergeant Allen Hill, Angelina County Sheriff's Office- Narcotics

"It's a problem all over East Texas, all over the nation, if you look at the statistics are epic. Meth labs are everywhere," said Angelina County Sheriff's Office Sergeant of Narcotics, Allen Hill.

The drug problem is only growing, but federal cutbacks are causing some law enforcement agencies to retreat.

"It all boils down to money. Money drives everything, law enforcement, I mean, it's sad to hear, but I understand their issues," said Hill.

Agencies battling narcotics in Missouri and Alabama say the lack of funding leaves them poorly equipped to fight meth. Without help, they can't pay for uniforms, salaries, transportation, and tools used to identify chemicals.

Local officials say the problem in Nacogdoches and Angelina counties is too large to give up.

"It's like anything else. You're fighting a fire, you stop fighting it, it grows. And we're not going to stop," said Hill.

Cleaning up a meth lab is often the most expensive part of the fight.

Cost isn't a factor in East Texas. Local HAZMAT agency, DLS, provides free cleanup. Without the service, Nacogdoches County Constable, Precinct 4, Jason Bridges, says his office wouldn't survive.

"If not, it's going to take us over. It's going to destroy lives. It's going to destroy families. It's going to destroy our communities," said Bridges.

Bridges says 70 percent of all crime is connected to drugs. Wipe it out, and he says taxpayers will see a return on their investment.   

" If you reduce the drugs, you're going to reduce the thefts. You're going to reduce the burglaries. You're going to reduce the murders," said Bridges.

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