We have had great success in reducing the number of small domestic meth labs over the past few years. This new facility will allow us to train more of our partners in law enforcement, so they can continue that success while protecting themselves from becoming victims of the toxic environment the labs create.
Washington, D.C. (Vocus) December 3, 2008
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will unveil its latest resource in combating the harmful and sometimes fatal effects of methamphetamine when it formally dedicates its new clandestine laboratory training and research center in a ceremony Friday, Dec. 5, in Quantico, Va.
The two-year construction project of the 31,600-square foot, $16.4 million building was overseen by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command in Washington.
"The opening of this new training facility demonstrates DEA's strong commitment to help our law enforcement partners by providing them training, expertise, and the necessary tools to safely identify and dismantle meth labs in their communities," said DEA Acting Administrator Michele M. Leonhart. "Officers and agents will learn the latest safety and tactical techniques to ensure not only their own safety but the protection of innocent citizens from this dangerous drug and its toxic effects."
"Methamphetamine wreaks havoc on its users and their families, and clandestine labs can devastate neighborhoods," said Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey. "We have had great success in reducing the number of small domestic meth labs over the past few years. This new facility will allow us to train more of our partners in law enforcement, so they can continue that success while protecting themselves from becoming victims of the toxic environment the labs create."
The purpose of the complex is to provide a state-of-the-art facility for the safe and effective training of international, federal, state, and local government officials who are responsible for working in a contaminated environment caused by clandestine laboratories.
Since 1987, DEA has trained over 19,000 officials to operate safely in clandestine laboratories which are commonly referred to as meth labs. According to the National Clandestine Laboratory Database, since 1999 there have been 106,681 reported incidents in the United States involving contaminated meth laboratory sites.
In addition to providing training, DEA agents will also be offering classes so law enforcement officials can receive the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) certifications required prior to working in a contaminated environment such as a meth lab.
The new building includes a 2,200-square foot laboratory that will enable DEA chemists to teach students how to synthesize controlled substances, and to conduct research into the illicit manufacturing methods and techniques employed by clan lab operators. The facility also contains a two-story, 2,000 square foot structure where DEA instructors will be able to conduct raid training in a simulated clandestine laboratory.
Following the ceremony, tours and hands-on demonstrations throughout the complex will be available for invited guests and members of the media.