Mo. suffers a loss in the war on meth - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Mo. suffers a loss in the war on meth

BUTLER COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -

Missouri gets a pretty bad rap when it comes to meth. You might think then that it would make sense to have more officers fighting the problem. As it turns out, due to budget cutbacks,  just the opposite is happening.

Heartland News has learned that soon there will be even less officers on the streets dedicated to fighting the war on meth.

"Poplar Bluff is getting bigger and bigger, and the drug problem is getting bigger and bigger," said Butler County Narcotics Officer Wesley Popp. 

Come January 1, 2012 his full time drug work will take a back seat.

"It takes a lot of time, it's not a 9-5 job", said Popp.

The problem, Sheriff Mark Dobbs says, is that the days of federal dollars supporting a full time officer to tackle drugs are over.

"We will no longer be able to have someone to target just meth", said Sheriff Dobbs.

Officer Popp won't lose his job, he'll just take on other duties. "I'll be doing other investigations like burglary, robbery, stealing and property damage."

Sheriff Dobbs says, "We'll just try to do more with less."

They say it's a challenge in a time when meth is king.

"Meth is still a foremost problem in Butler county as well as Southeast Missouri," said Dobbs. 

Dobbs says it slowed down with the pseudophedrine laws, but says meth makers found ways around that.

It's a growing challenge with an increase in heroin usage, and now synthetic drugs like bath salts.

It's leaving officers wondering how they'll stay on top of everything.

"It'll be a challenge," said Popp. 

With fewer resources departments like in Butler County will rely more than ever on the public for tips.

Copyright KFVS 2011. All rights reserved.

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