Fighting crime starts with you. That's why the Martin County Sheriff's Office held a town hall meeting Thursday night. It focused on one thing: meth.
Sheriff William Snyder says people need to keep an eye out. As an example, he told the audience 'if you see a neighbor's trash with a lot of plastic bottles, allergy or cold pill containers, lithium batteries and cold packs that have been opened it could be a red flag that someone is making meth.'
"In the last year and a half we've seen an uptick," says Sheriff Snyder, "We've made 11 arrests. We've had four methamphetamine production sites."
That prompted Sheriff William Snyder to hold a town hall meeting.
"Our goal here tonight is to start a public awareness campaign," says Sheriff Snyder.
The meeting began with an explanation of meth which is a highly addictive drug.
"I knew nothing about meth before I came here," says resident Marti DePree.
Sheriff Snyder told people how cheap and easy it is for addicts to make meth. The ingredients include pseudoephedrine which is used in cold and allergy pills, lye, and muriatic acid among others. The items can be found on store shelves.
The sheriff says when people hear the term 'meth lab' they often think of a big production. Instead, meth can easily be made in one plastic bottle.
"This is a whole new thing to deal with," says Ellen Asselin.
Meth production is dangerous because the chemicals used to make it are volatile. Sheriff Snyder showed pictures from last year's home explosion in Palm City and other video to demonstrate how quickly a fire can erupt.
"The problem is getting worse," says Joe Hatton.
There were also before and after pictures of faces scarred by meth use.
"I think the scariest part is the effect meth has on people," says DePree.
Sheriff Snyder encouraged people to look out for their neighborhoods and report any suspicious activity.
"There's a drug problem, there's a meth problem, there's gang problems," says Annette Hatton, "We got it all so why not nip it in the bud."
The Martin County Sheriff's Office is a member of the DEA's task force and has two detectives specially trained to look for meth.