Officers say children affect reporting of meth labs

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- Chattanooga investigator Terry Topping and Tennessee Meth Task Force director Tommy Farmer say greater public awareness of health hazards related to meth labs appears to be increasing tips to police when children are involved.

In less than a week, Chattanooga police handcuffed a mom and removed six children in a methamphetamine lab bust at an upscale home.

Chattanooga officers say another tip led them to an apartment where a couple had noxious drug-making chemicals in their youngsters' bathroom.

Farmer says people who suspect they might know the location of a meth lab "can't go to sleep at night knowing those kids are over there exposed" to it.

Topping says tips about meth labs where children are present "are increasing."

He says police used to get a tip when somebody got ripped off in their dope deal. Topping says now they are calling to say there are kids in the house where they are cooking meth.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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