The more you know, the safer you can be. That is the approach police are hoping Elmira residents take after two meth labs were discovered just last week. As our Bill Mich explains, if neighbors know what to be on the lookout for, they can help in getting rid of drugs in their community.
ELMIRA, N.Y. -- Generally, meth lab discoveries happen in remote and rural areas where the drug manufacturers can be isolated. However, just last week, two methamphetamine operations were uncovered in the City of Elmira.
"It is somewhat unusual in the City of Elmira. We have had them before, but not at a real rate of frequency. They are popping up because they are making the smaller batches now to avoid detection is the concept behind that," said Elmira Police Chief Michael Robertson.
The labs were uncovered on Hall Street and West Gray Street. And while those making the drugs may be doing so in small quantities, that does not mean that their operations are any safer for them or the surrounding neighborhood.
"Dangers to the neighbors are there. It's real. In some cases they are in multi-family homes. So yeah it does present a danger. Being smaller, it is not going to level a block like other major meth labs could but it is still dangerous for sure," said Robertson.
And because that danger is present, residents should be on the lookout for suspicious activity they could report to police. Authorities say there is one dead giveaway that should warrant a tip call.
"Generally, it is the ammonia type smell that is the tell tale sign. Ammonia or cat urine type of smell. Sometimes it is tough to differentiate because we have a lot of cats around, but we would rather check it out and be safe than sorry," said Robertson.
And it's those tip calls that will help to keep the community safe.
Anyone who wants to report suspicious activity can call the Elmira Police Department at (607) 271-HALT.