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Jed Boal Reporting…Tom Gorman has been fighting drugs on the streets for 35 years. Now as director of the Rocky Mountain High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, he teaches other drug investigators.
Along with the D-E-A, his agency will deliver two weeks of drug education to these local and regional officers. They'll learn how to be smart and safe on the job.
"Tom Gorman/HIDTA Director: BECAUSE IT'S SUCH A DANGEROUS FIELD, IT TEACHES THEM HOW TO STAY OUT OF TROUBLE, HOW NOT TO GET IN SITUATIONS WHERE IT COMPROMISES THEMSELVES OR THEIR PARTNER."
Bottom line drug agents will learn how to keep people from buying and using drugs. And, ultimately, they hope to prevent crime.
HIDTA estimates six-percent of the population use illegal drugs, but, account for a disproportionate amount of the crime.
About 40-percent of all murder cases are linked to illegal drug use.
About 40- percent of child and spousal abuse cases are linked to drugs.
Drug users have three times the average suicide rate.
Methamphetamine and marijuana are the biggest problems, but cocaine and club drugs are also part of the picture.
Salt Lake City Police Chief Rick Dinse says drug squads must keep chipping away at the drug problem.
Rick Dinse/Salt Lake City Police Chief: “IT IS A CYCLE THAT HAS TO BE BROKEN. AND I DON'T KNOW IF WE HAVE THE ANSWER FOR THAT, BUT CERTAINLY ENFORCEMENT HAS TO BE MAINTAINED."
"Jed Boal/Eyewitness News: “RECENTLY, DRUG AGENTS HAVE HAD A LOT OF SUCCESS BUSTING METH LABS IN THE SALT LAKE VALLEY. SO, THIS TRAINING DOES HAVE AN IMPACT. BUT, THE PROBLEM IS NOT GOING AWAY."
Tom Gorman/HIDTA Director: “WE HAVE A BIG INFLUX OF METH COMING FROM MEXICO AND CALIFORNIA, BEING BROUGHT IN BY MEXICAN NATIONALS. THAT IS OUR MAJOR SOURCE OF SUPPLY HERE IN UTAH."
Out of class, the officers will learn how to deal with informants, how to make clean cases, and how to and raid drug labs.
The program director believes a three-pronged approach of treatment: prevention, education and enforcement -- can reduce drug abuse in the community.