Sheriff prepares new deputies to tackle "working meth labs"

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - The Greene County Sheriff's Department is going the extra mile to train deputies while serving warrants.

Months after Sharp County Sheriff Mark Counts found himself in the ICU after getting sick while serving a search warrant, Greene County Sheriff, David Carter, said he is preparing deputies for the unknown.

In Oct. 2016, Counts responded to a home to serve a warrant, looking for drugs and firearms; however, he stumbled across components of a meth lab underneath the floor and inhaled the fumes.

Still to this day, Counts has trouble speaking.

Sheriff Carter said this hits home, telling Region 8 news meth labs are not common like they were several years ago. He said most of the methamphetamine is delivered from Mexico.

When serving warrants they do not expect to come across one; however, after Counts' narrow escape, his deputies face in-depth training, being taught to expect the worst and hope for the best when going into a home.

"Their experience is what comes in handy on that," Carter said. "These components are so volatile by their selves. When you mix it together, it's very dangerous."

Carter said the criminal investigation division is trained. They know what to do and what not to do.

However, since meth labs are not common anymore, it is easy to let the dangers of stumbling upon one off the radar.

He said the CID is mostly focused on training new deputies.

"We get everyone out of the home, secure all the chemicals in one spot and break it down from there," Carter said. "I have new deputies who haven't been around this before, we are going to teach them how to handle these dangerous chemicals."

He said the problem is a real one and it could become a bigger issue again, saying it is best to always stay on top of it.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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