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Community Watch Meeting Addresses Meth Epidemic

Posted on: 9:03 pm, June 11, 2013, by , updated on: 11:56pm, June 11, 2013

There’s been yet another meth lab bust in Berwick.

The arrest comes on the heels of several other meth lab busts in nearby communities in Luzerne and Schuylkill counties.

Police say meth is not just a problem in Berwick; it is working its way into communities all across the area, due to the fact that it is easy to make with cheap, everyday ingredients.

Tuesday night, a crime watch group in Berwick held a meeting to teach members of the community how to spot a possible meth lab.

Berwick police say responding to a call at a house on Orange Street led to the discovery of meth making materials, Monday afternoon.

Officers arrested resident Michael Hamilton who they say allowed an unidentified person to make meth in his bedroom in exchange for heroin.

Hamilton was charged with possession of both meth and heroin.

Neighbor Candace DeMarco had her suspicious something was going on there.

“A lot of activity coming from there, a lot of people in and out and I thought something was funny but you can`t really tell, how do I know, his parents are sick so I feel bad for them,” said DeMarco.

At the borough`s city hall Tuesday night, the Berwick Area United Way held its monthly community crime watch meeting as police showed a slide screen presentation to help residents recognize meth making materials.

“They`re getting the community involved, one, they`re informing the community because they don`t know what to look for,” said resident Marjorie Matash.

“We need to take our community back, get rid of the meth labs, get them out of our community where our children are safe again,” said resident Linda Benscoter.

Since the crackdown in Berwick, smaller, surrounding communities have seen an increase in meth labs, including Shickshinny.

After police there had three incidents involving meth just last week, Shickshinny Mayor Beverly Moore had these harsh words at a news conference on Saturday.

“Pack up shop and get out of town.  We are done,”said Moore.

At the meeting, police from other municipalities were also on hand.

“The meth has been a problem, we face it, every town, big town, small town, it has been a problem,” said Sergeant Michael McNeal with the Salem Township Police Department.

However residents say they welcome news of meth lab busts.

They say that means police are doing their jobs.

“They`re cracking down rather than just letting it go so I think it`s a good thing,” said DeMarco.

Berwick police gave out two email addresses for anonymous tips.

There is one specifically for narcotics tips, that’s tips@berwick-pa.com.

The second goes to the community watch group tip line and can include anything from criminal activity to questions that address is bcwg@berwick-pa.com.

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