Law enforcement officials are meeting with federal government representatives this morning in Clear Lake to challenge the way Congress funds drug enforcement efforts. The funding had been per capita-based but will now be based on crime rates. Forest City police chief Doug Book, chairman of the North Central Iowa Narcotics Task Force, says the change will have a devastating effect on how Iowa fights methamphetamine. Book says “If you’re a state that is taking care of your crime rate, you’re going to lose money and those that haven’t taken care of the crime rate are going to gain — the money that would’ve gone to Iowa is going to go to 18 states for their incompetent law enforcement.” Book says Iowa ranks second per capita in the number of meth labs statewide and third in the nation for the actual number of meth labs busted — 883. He says the thin blue line of law enforcement is about to get a lot thinner. Book says there’s a meth lab in Iowa for every 3-thousand-334 people in Iowa — and that’s just the ones we know about. Book is working to coordinate efforts to link state task forces with local government bodies to see the federal action reversed.He says residents are being asked to lobby their city and county leaders to pass resolutions opposing the funding change in hopes of influencing the congressional delegation. The meeting at Clear Lake City Hall is slated to start at 10:30 A.M. Representatives of the following officials are scheduled to be there: Senator Chuck Grassley, Congressmen Tom Latham & Jim Nussle, Governor Vilsack — and others.
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