Officers Leonard Harvill and Chris Robinson leave today for Virginia to take part in a methamphetamine training program sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration at its state-of-the-art Clandestine Laboratory Training and Research Center at Marine Corps Base Quantico.
“Our department is so very fortunate to have received, not just one, but two slots for officers to attend this training,” Jasper Police Chief Connie Cooner Rowe said. “This is federal level training from federal drug enforcement officers at the most respected law enforcement training facility in the country — Quantico.
“I’m very appreciative of this opportunity, both for our department as a whole and these officers as individuals,” Rowe added.
The five-day meth seminar will include training on toxicology, chemical hazards, evidence collection and how to operate safely in contaminated spaces. The officers will also be certified in meth lab cleanup and disposal after completing the training.
Robinson, a JPD officer dedicated to traffic enforcement, called the opportunity “a big deal.”
“There are only 45 students from across the United States that are participating in this training, and two are from Jasper. That is a big deal to me,” he said. “Meth is a terrible problem across the country, and we definitely have our share of it here. This training will alow us to learn the most current and most productive ways to handle this problem.”
Harvill, a JPD detective, said he’s excited about the chance to train with the DEA.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for Chris and myself,” Harvill said. “This type of training will benefit us as officers, but it will also be a big benefit to the community.”
Harvill said there are only a handful of officers in the area who are currently certified to clean up and dispose of meth labs with only two at the Jasper Police Department.
“This will give us four guys at JPD,” he said. “There are some others in the county, and we work well with those guys. They help us when we need it and we help them when they need it. I’m sure that will continue, and this training will be a good thing for all of us.”