On Tuesday, Lafayette Police officers were called to S 5th St in reference to a suspected meth lab discovered in an apartment. Officers were alerted to this issue by maintenance and a concerned citizen that smelled a chemical odor coming from the apartment. When officers arrived, they located the subjects and a very small, inactive methamphetamine lab. The Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Team was called to the scene to dispose of the hazardous chemicals. Three people went to jail for creating (manufacturing), selling (dealing), and being around (visiting a common nuisance) a very dangerous drug.
This incident was the 13th meth lab discovered in the city. This number also includes the remnants of labs that are discovered after being dumped and are no longer in use. Of the 13 labs found in the city, this was the first one found in this particular neighborhood in 2015. Thirteen is thirteen too many and, and we know there is more work to do in this area.
Meth labs are particularly dangerous, not only for the toxic chemicals that poison the drug abuser, but for the general health and safety of neighbors in the area, first responders, and anybody that is around the lab. Thankfully this ended well. One meth lab investigated by the Lafayette Police, dismantled by the State Police, and three individuals with drug problems and a disregard for others’ safety arrested.
But I think a more pertinent question regarding public safety is HOW was this lab discovered? It was not the Lafayette Police Department tracking down clues that led us to the location of a lab. It was not police intuition, a hunch, or a gut feeling that a crime is afoot. It was none of these. This call started with a citizen that reported something suspicious. It started with someone like YOU that did not dismiss an odor as annoying or just something to tolerate. This is exactly what sets Lafayette apart from a lot of communities. Citizens report suspicious behavior which lead the police to actual crimes. We, the Lafayette Police Department, are extremely lucky that the population of this community still cares. YOU don’t dismiss YOUR observations, YOUR senses, or YOUR gut feelings. The police department and other city agencies are working hard on the community’s behalf, but the vast majority of criminal incidents start with a phone call from the very community we are trying to protect.
As a community, we cannot ignore the fact that we have issues with drugs and other criminal activity related to the drug trade. The police department will continue to enforce drug laws and criminal statutes to keep our community safe. However, it is incumbent on each and every member of this city to uphold their responsibility to keep watch over their neighbor. We know that when we all work together, we are a safer and stronger community!
Lt. Brian Gossard
Community Outreach and Crime Prevention