INDIANAPOLIS - The number of methamphetamine lab seizures in Indiana has increased in each of the last seven years, hitting a record high in 2013, and 2014 could be close to another record.
The RTV6 digital team's analysis of data made available by Indiana State Police showed three years of decreasing meth lab seizures from 2004-2006, with the number of meth labs discovered more than doubling between 2006 and 2013.
In 2006, there were 803 meth labs seized in Indiana, ISP said. By 2013, 1,808 labs were found. ISP began a mass suppression effort in 2006, and that's part of the reason for the increase.
"It really has a lot to do with enforcement efforts, because if you're not looking, you're not going to find," said ISP 1st Sgt. Niki Crawford. "There's a lot of officers out there being very proactive in their communities."
Crawford said the ease of obtaining supplies to manufacture methamphetamine and cooking methods have changed in recent years, too.
"With the changes we've seen in the cook process, it's become more dangerous," she said. "We're seeing more injuries. If you look at the injuries that have occurred from 2000 through the end of 2013, about 60 to 65 percent of all injuries have occurred in just the last four years. We really attribute that to the one-pot labs and the fact they're mixing incompatible chemicals inside one container."
A county-by-county breakdown showed that between 2001 and 2013, Bartholomew County had the highest number of meth lab seizures, with 635 in that 13-year period.
Other hotspots for meth lab activity included Jennings, Decatur, Vigo, Knox and Vanderburgh counties in the southern half of the state.
Noble, Elkhart and Marshall counties had a higher prevalence of meth lab seizures in northern Indiana during that same 13-year timeframe.
The trend so far in 2014 indicates a slight decrease in meth lab seizures.
"We're not down anywhere where we can start celebrating a big change," Crawford said. "It's not really sustained."
City could consider public's use of Narcan
Indianapolis police and ambulance crews have reported success in dispensing Narcan to people who overdose on heroin.
Addicts target Wal-Mart in shoplifting scheme
Feeding a heroin addiction often means addicts resort to stealing – from friends, family and businesses.
School spends $300K after air quality citation
Beech Grove City Schools is spending $300,000 to fix air quality problems at South Grove Intermediate School following a citation by the…
Day care avoids shutdown following molestation
The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration and Children’s Choice Learning Center reached an agreement this week allowing the…
Audit: DCS racked up $627K in late penalties
The Indiana Department of Child Services racked up $627,168 in late payment penalties to vendors, Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney reported.
State: Nonprofit expected to pay by Nov. 7
The Indiana Department of Labor says a Greenwood nonprofit is expected to pay workers owed wages by Nov. 7, Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney…