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The Meth Monster: TFPD work to crack down on meth use
It increases alertness, concentration, and energy, but the side effects are devastating to an individual, and to society. This is the first part of a two part series we're doing about methamphetamine.
Thursday’s piece focuses on what the Twin Falls Police Department is doing to crack down on use.
For narcotics detective Brent Wright, dealing with methamphetamine use is just part of the job.
Twin Falls Police Dept. Detective Brent Wright said, "We make meth arrests, investigations, in virtually every portion of the city. The number of arrests we make is really the statistic that we use to see how we're doing."
For the past three years, those arrest have remained fairly constant.
From 2008 to 2009: slightly over 100 people arrested. In 2010, in a ten month span almost 100.
And while the numbers remain similar, what’s changed, is how meth is obtained.
Wright said, "6-7 years ago, most the methamphetamine we obtained was made locally. With the passage of ephedrine laws, making it less accessible, putting it behind the counter...most of the meth we see in the Magic Valley now comes straight out of Mexico."
Police say marijuana remains the most commonly used illegal drug in the Magic Valley region, yet, meth has a quicker, more negative impact on society. An impact that spans a multitude of other crimes.
Wright said, "Most of our crimes in Twin Falls can be linked back to narcotics, in our way or another. Most of our property crimes are drug related."
Police say most users are in their 20s to mid 30s although it's not uncommon to find it in the older generation.
For police, it's a constant battle. Wright said, "We're a smaller department. We cannot control the supply. We're not going to make an impact on people bringing meth into Twin Falls. So, we focus primarily on street level investigations with the users, and the smaller dealers."
In hopes of making the community a safer place to live.