Police officers learn how to spot drug runners

LUCEDALE, MS (WLOX) - An interdiction seminar being held this week in Lucedale is designed to give police officers the tools and knowledge they need to make an impact in the war on drugs.

More than 100 police officers and deputies have come from all over the South, wanting to make a difference. It's a difference that's badly needed.

"We hardly touch what's coming across," said George County Sheriff Dean Howell. "I don't know what percent, probably 10 or 15 percent is all we get, the rest of it gets through."

This training will cross all law enforcement jurisdictions. Scott Fuller is with the Dadeville, Alabama Police Department.

"Being a smaller department, we normally don't deal with that kind of stuff. But we're going to learn more about that and they we can get with other agencies and build on that and help us take care of the drug problem in our area," Fuller explained.

Several officers all said the same thing: They feel the drug trade is getting worse and they have a couple of reasons for it. Number one, it's convenient, and number two, there's a lot of money to be made.

Tex Jones is a drug interdiction instructor.

"We're on a main corridor. I-10, I-20, and I-55 coming through Mississippi and narcotics and contraband is a multi-billion dollar industry and it's just killing our country," Jones said.

With the proper knowledge and tools in their hands, these officers can succeed in stemming the tide of drugs, according to Kipton Wills with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

"99.9 percent of the time, it's going to fall right into your lap," Wills said.  "These are criminals, they're not rocket scientists. Our officers are out there, they're smart, we recruit, we hire, train and retain the best officers we can find."

This is the second year that George County has hosted the training seminar.  It runs through Friday.

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