Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has announced a partnership with Southern Indiana law enforcement to combat the high number of meth labs near the states’ common border. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.
Gov. Beshear and Indiana law enforcement officials in Clark and Floyd counties say they are going to share information using a Kentucky database to track people purchasing pseudoephedrine, a principal ingredient in methamphetamine, or meth.
Kentucky began using the database to track sales last year and noticed that 29 percent of all meth labs discovered were in Jefferson and Bullitt counties.
While Beshear emphasized that this is a pilot project, he did say that he would like to see this effort strengthened.
“It’s worked within the state,” Beshear says. “We think it will work across the borders. And we want to expand this if at all possible to every state that surrounds us.”
Right now, Indiana does not track purchases using a real-time, electronic software system, but Clark and Floyd counties recently passed local ordinances to do so.
Van Ingram is the director of the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy. He showed a map of where the software helped track one person who crossed several state lines to purchase the ingredient.
“There are hundreds of people just like this individual, that are traveling Kentucky Interstates into Indiana, into Tennessee, in search of pseudoephedrine products,” Ingram says.
The company that makes the software is offering Indiana officials free use of the it for the project. Indiana tracks these purchases using pharmacists’ log books, which officials say makes for time consuming investigations.