LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Police are calling it a case of hard work and tougher laws seem to be helping the fight.
According to Kentucky State Police, the number of meth lab responses has dropped dramatically. In 2011, law enforcement agencies responded to 1,233 meth labs. In 2012, the number dropped slightly to 1,060. This year, police report 524 meth lab responses.
Just a few years ago, Laurel County was among the counties that has the highest number of meth labs.
Laurel County Sheriff's Office declared war against the meth lab problem in 2011 and the county seems to be coming out on top.
"It was just one of our goals on the bucket list to knock it down," says Sheriff John Root, with Laurel County.
Sheriff Root is proud to share the numbers that show the progress.
According to data from the Sheriff's Office, Laurel County deputies neutralized 447 individual meth labs in 2011. In 2012, deputies found 48 meth labs. This year, 27 meth labs were taken down by the county.
"Don't get me wrong we have no more of a problem in Laurel County that we have in the neighboring counties. I think we have just hit it a little harder. It was just one of our goals on the bucket list to knock it down," adds Root.
Sheriff Root credits the community for helping and his deputies for their determination and dedication, "All the guys worked longer hours, each call they would look a little closer, they would talk to neighbors. We did out town hall meetings. We kind of took the show on the road."
The Sheriff tells WKYT that despite meth numbers being down for the county, that doesn't mean that the Sheriff's Office will be letting it's guard down, "If you want to go ahead and chance it, you're welcome to do it. But, if we find out about it, you'll be hearing from us."
Sheriff Root believes that tougher laws are helping combat the problem as well.
The counties with the highest meth lab responses this year are Jefferson, Warren, and Allen County.