Lab Site Safety
The Pendleton Police Department currently has four officers that have been certified as Clandestine Lab Site Safety Officers. Each one of these officers has special training in recognizing clandestine labs, including methamphetamine labs. The training teaches each officer to respond, assess and investigate the clandestine lab.
Each lab the officers investigate requires at least two lab site safety officers to correctly and safely examine the crime scene. The officers wear personal protective equipment to enter the possible lab area in order to take samples of the unknown liquids, solids and material. Items are seized and sent to the Oregon State Crime Lab for identification. Once the scene has been properly investigated, the area is closed off and marked as inhabitable until it can be professionally cleaned to eradicate the wastes associated with clandestine labs.
The lab site safety officer is responsible for the safety of other officers on scene, as well as unsuspecting bystanders. The safety officer must develop a safety plan prior to entering the lab area to insure the safety of others due to the extreme hazardous waste that is associated with clandestine labs.