DEA and the State of Florida Establish Statewide Methamphetamine Strategy
On December 15, 2003, Florida Governor Jeb Bush approved the Florida Statewide Methamphetamine Strategy. This is a joint agreement between the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Florida Office of Drug Control Policy and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The purpose of the strategy is to improve the overall effectiveness and efficiency of law enforcement's response in Florida to the growing threat of clandestine laboratories. In the past three years, clandestine lab seizures in Florida have gone from 28 in FY 2001 to 231 in FY 2003. Governor Bush stated that he was "pleased at the latest federal and state partnership to address a real problem in our communities." The approved strategy will result in the creation of six regional teams, strategically located throughout the state, to provide guidance to law enforcement agencies to coordinate clean up activities and respond to clandestine lab sites more effectively. The strategy will also establish protocol procedures statewide for law enforcement agencies to follow when discovering a clandestine laboratory. Emphasis will be placed on education and training in clandestine laboratory certification and site safety. The Florida Statewide Methamphetamine Strategy was signed in Tallahassee, Florida on December 15 by Special Agent in Charge Thomas W. Raffanello, DEA Miami Field Division, Director James McDonough, Florida Office of Drug Control Policy and Commissioner Guy M. Tunnell, Florida Department of Law Enforcement. SAC Raffanello stated that "DEA recognizes the growing problem of methamphetamine manufacture and abuse in Florida, and is committed to working with our state and local counterparts in an effort to stop this disturbing trend."