Recently, U.S. Senator Mark Dayton of Minnesota helped to restore the Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Grant programs . The Byrne grants are used to fund state and local police efforts to combat methamphetamine and other drugs. A portion of the money will be used for the Methamphetamine Hot Spots Initiative that will target meth production and trafficking in Minnesota. It will also be used to prevent meth production by targeting meth cooks and lab, cleanup of meth labs, prosecution of meth cooks and dealers, and expanding treatment options for addicts.
According to the Minnesota Department of Health in 2003 there were more than 500 clandestine drug labs and other meth related events such as chemical dumps, anhydrous ammonia thefts discovered in Minnesota. Most of the meth labs about 75% were found in rural or semi-rural areas. However, just recently, the Duluth News Tribune reported that two men were arrested in connection with a meth lab in the Woodland area, one of the city’s safest neighborhoods.
The Byrne grants will help to increase personnel resources, training, technical assistance, information systems and better equipment for police and sheriffs throughout Minnesota. Critical funding will now be available to Minnesotaâ€™s 21 regional drug task forces that combat the epidemic of meth trafficking and production.