JACKSBORO, TN. (WLAF)- Officers with the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department are strengthening their skills to help keep the community safe.
In May, Sgt. Brandon Gross and Deputy Joseph Weaver attended a five day Basic Clandestine Lab Safety and Level A Certification class hosted by the Tennessee Dangerous Drug Task Force in Bell Buckle. During the class, Gross and Weaver were taught how to properly identify, sample, dismantle, and process clandestine meth lab sites. Some of the topics covered in this course included new trends in the manufacturing of methamphetamine, toxicology, chemical hazards, physical hazards, decontamination, and other safety procedures. In addition to methamphetamine, the class also provided detailed coverage of narcotics such as Heroin, Fentanyl, PCP, and LSD.
The course material included a study in the wide range of chemicals and the cultivation of illegal narcotics, the two officers said. These are topics not usually taught in basic law enforcement classes. Weaver said they also learned how little effort is required to manufacture some drugs and how readily available the materials are to produce a drug that can take a life. In recent years, there has been a shift from methamphetamine to drugs like Heroin and Fentanyl. “The class helped to see what drugs are being dealt with by other agencies across the state,” Gross said.
The Campbell County Officers were two of the few sheriff’s deputies selected to attend the class, which required an application process and mostly consisted of DEA, drug task force, and other narcotics related investigators.
“A key factor to our job on patrol is observation. This training helps to provide our department with the ability to identify and understand the specific dangers present when handling certain drugs. From traffic stops to medical calls, I know that I can help protect fellow officers and other persons on scene from handling a dangerous drug improperly. While training can be an expense that some departments choose not invest in, our department recognizes that without training we can’t be aware of the dangers that may present for us and the community,” Weaver said.
“Every class we attend adds tools to our toolbox. Every class adds something of value that can be brought back to our community and utilized in a positive way. We always try to be aware of the dangers present on the job but sometimes we don’t recognize possible microscopic hazards that could be present on scene with these types of drugs that this class helped bring attention to. In my opinion, the sheriff’s office is a fantastic team and the more knowledge our team possesses, the better prepared we are for every situation, and the better we can do our job for the people that live in Campbell County,” Gross said.
Det. Sgt. David Wormsley has been selected to attend the same course in the fall. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 06/14/2021- 6AM)