On Thursday, October 10, nineteen (19) law enforcement officers (LEOs) from Searcy County and the surrounding area attended a drug enforcement training class hosted by Searcy County Chief Deputy Dewayne Pierce, a state certified instructor, and sponsored by the Searcy County Sheriff's Department.
The six hour class was held in the Paul U. Jones Courtroom in Marshall and was attended by LEOs from the Stone County Sheriff's Department, Searcy County Sheriff's Department, Mountain View Police Department and the Marshall Police Department. Class instructor Dammon McGilton, state certified instructor, is a lieutenant with the Stone County Sheriff's Department and a special investigator with the Searcy County Sheriff's Department, who specializes in narcotics investigations.
The main objectives of McGilton's class was to identify the most commonly encountered illicit drugs in Arkansas; identify the behavior of people under the influence of these drugs; explain the probable source of any specific type of illicit drug encountered; explain the hazards to officers who come in contact with specific drugs and production of those drugs; explain the possible methods of ingestion of specific illicit drugs; explain the two major reasons for the increase in methamphetamine production; and to be familiar with the three major production methods of methamphetamine and be able to determine which method is being used by identifying some of the specific chemicals used in the process.
Pierce said this drug enforcement class was designed to educate the newer law enforcement officers and serve as a great refresher class for seasoned officers. "This class will help our officers identify some of the new trends going on in the illicit drug scene such as the resurgence of the one-pot meth labs and increase in heroin. Pill diversion is a monster of its own," Pierce stated.
Pierce added, "Sheriff Cassell wanted our department to sponsor this class since drugs are a major problem not only in our community, but nationwide."
Searcy County Sheriff Kenny Cassell explained, "This class is important to all law enforcement officers because it teaches them about the manufacture, sales and use of illicit drugs, the groups of narcotics and dangerous drugs, roadside interviewing, vehicle concealment methods and combating the transport and sale of dangerous drugs."
"The more our officers know, the better job they can do of protecting the citizens of Searcy County. Our county, life the rest of the country, has a drug problem," Cassell added. " It is a major goal of our department to aggressively take on the drug problem in Marion County and arrest those responsible for this illegal activity."