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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 06, 2007
Attorney General Rob McKenna meets today with U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Attorney General Rob McKenna will be meeting today with U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to discuss legal and law enforcement issues facing the state of Washington– specifically gangs, methamphetamine and identity theft.

"The serious legal and law enforcement issues facing our state today call for a cooperative law enforcement approach," McKenna said. "Today’s meeting is a critical part of that process."

McKenna traveled to Washington, D.C. for the face-to-face talks as part of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) annual spring meeting, held March 5-7 in Washington, D.C.

Forty-six of the nation’s Attorneys General gathered for collective discussions on federal and state approaches to homeland security, combating illegal drugs—especially methamphetamine, consumer protection issues, and rising gang activity.

"This dialogue is important for me and my colleagues across the country who are increasingly concerned about maintaining homeland security and protecting the public," McKenna said.

"Discussions among states and with our federal counterparts are crucial as the law enforcement issues state Attorneys General face are without borders," McKenna said. "For example, it is alarming to see the rise in methamphetamine-related arrests where children are present and exposed to this drug, when the long-term physiological effects of second-hand inhalation are not yet known."

Meth contributes to Washington having the second highest number of overall property crimes nationwide.

"We’re concerned about continuing or increasing federal funding for many state and local law enforcement programs," Attorney General Rob McKenna said. "Education and training are desperately needed for law enforcement and state government to be able to effectively address these issues."

McKenna has a history of working closely with the US Attorney’s office to address criminal issues in Washington. Recent activities include:

* The head of the AGO Spokane Medicaid Fraud Control Unit has been cross-deputized to work with the US Attorney’s Office on fraud cases in Eastern Washington.

* In September, McKenna joined former US Attorney John McKay at a news conference announcing increased emphasis on "insiders" in the fight against identity theft.

* Also in September, the Attorney General’s Office and the US Department of Justice co-sponsored the Pacific Rim Meth Summit where McKenna led a panel on the regional meth problem.

 

Contact: Janelle Guthrie, AG Communications Director, (360) 586-0725

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