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MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen today announced the Wisconsin Department of Justice has been awarded a federal grant of $710,828 to assist in methamphetamine enforcement across the state. The award will allow renewed funding of the Wisconsin Methamphetamine Initiative, the successful program initiated in 2000.


"I am pleased to announce continued funding for our state's methamphetamine enforcement program. Although we've successfully reduced the number of clandestine meth labs in Wisconsin, the new problem is the importation of high grade meth into the state from other parts of the country," said Van Hollen. "This funding will allow us to continue our efforts at reducing meth trafficking and assisting drug endangered children in Wisconsin."


The Wisconsin Methamphetamine Initiative uses funding to assist local communities in addressing the methamphetamine problem in their areas. Efforts consist of meth laboratory mitigation, meth trafficking investigations, a Drug Endangered Children (DEC) program, and a case management system for those agencies that investigate methamphetamine trafficking.


The initiative also includes the Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement and Response (CLEAR) Task Force. The task force is composed of state and local law enforcement agents who respond to methamphetamine laboratories, mitigate the hazards caused by the labs, and conduct criminal investigations of methamphetamine traffickers. Because of recent decreases in meth labs in Wisconsin, the CLEAR Task Force is transitioning to a multi-jurisdictional methamphetamine trafficking investigative unit to combat meth imported into Wisconsin from other areas of the country and Mexico.


The Methamphetamine Initiative is in the process of establishing Drug Endangered Children (DEC) teams in all of Wisconsin's 72 counties. The DEC teams are multi-jurisdictional and multi-disciplinary in nature. The purpose of the teams is to assist children found at the sites of methamphetamine labs or in environments where illegal drugs are used or kept.


Also funded through the initiative is a statewide case management system that is available to any law enforcement agency in the state. The system allows for standardization of reporting on methamphetamine labs and trafficking cases.


All of the services of the Wisconsin Methamphetamine Initiative are provided at no cost to local agencies.