Meth lab cleanup crisis

While money dries up at law enforcement departments across the country, those bearing the badge have to make cuts.

One of those areas is meth labs.

While Saginaw County has not had a meth lab inside its borders recently, the sheriff says they're getting close, and it's getting harder to find them and remove them.

Recent reports say the amount of meth labs found and removed have dropped by 1/3 since February.

That's because the federal government cancelled a program that pumped millions of dollars into communities to get rid of meth labs.

Saturday, Burton authorities responded to a hotel on Hemphill Road and found a meth lab.

Authorities say it's expensive to get rid of them.

"It takes a qualified expert team of hazardous material individuals to come in and clean up the mess and then try to find someplace to dispose of the materials because you just can't take them down to the dump," says Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel.

Unlike other drugs that are smuggled into the United States, the combination of materials used to make methamphetamine can be bought at a hardware store.

Federspiel says, "We're not going to outlaw these things that you use to make a lab. That's not the right approach. So that makes it difficult to attack."

When police find a meth lab, state government and local authorities have to pay for the cleanup, and right now most areas are broke.

Authorities have recently found meth labs in Shiawassee and Bay County.