OLYMPIA—Attorney General Rob McKenna today named the members of his “Operation: Allied Against Meth” task force, a team of experts who will be charged with evaluating and recommending tools to address Washington’s methamphetamine epidemic.
“Methamphetamine is a cancer eating away at our state,” McKenna said. “This team of experts brings a broad range of experience together to develop targeted solutions to the growing number of problems caused by meth use and production in our state. Meth impacts families, communities and the environment and it’s crucial we bring this problem under control.”
The task force, made up of state and local law enforcement officials, prosecutors, business and community representatives, treatment providers and elected officials, is the latest piece of McKenna’s comprehensive anti-meth strategy that was unveiled earlier this year.
McKenna kicked off “Operation: Allied Against Meth” in May with a statewide tour, visiting community methamphetamine action teams and partnering with Lead On America, a Snohomish County-based community group in a series of high school presentations.
The Attorney General's Office continues to partner with community-based organizations and industry associations to raise awareness and prevent use of methamphetamine.
Last week, McKenna announced the hiring of two new assistant attorneys general in the criminal justice division to specifically work with local county prosecutors to enforce and prosecute meth-related crimes.
“This task force will play a critical role in our statewide anti-meth initiative,” McKenna said. “Together we will explore current strategies and devise new ones to fight the battle against meth.”
Members of the “Operation: Allied Against Meth” task force include:
King County Sheriff Sue Rahr;
Snohomish County Prosecutor Janice Ellis;
Kitsap County Prosecutor Russ Hauge;
Okanogan County Prosecutor Karl Sloan;
Chris DeChant, Mercer Island Police Department;
Asst. Chief David Karnitz, Washington State Patrol Investigative Services;
Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam, chairman of the Senate Human Services and Corrections Committee, representing the Senate Democrats;
Sen. Stephen Johnson, R-Kent, ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, representing the Senate Republicans;
Rep. Al O’Brien, D-Mountlake Terrace, chairman of the House Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee, representing the House Democrats;
Rep. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe, ranking member on the House Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee, representing the House Republicans;
Priscilla Lisicich representing Tacoma Safe Streets and the Washington Methamphetamine Initiative;
Dr. Terree Schmidt-Whelan, Pierce County Alliance, representing the drug treatment community;
Nancy Underwood Long from Lutheran Community Services;
Marcia Via from the Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council;
Jason Moulton from Safeway, representing the retail industry;
Scott Sigmon from Schering-Plough External Affairs representing the pharmaceutical industry;
Bryan Wahl, Director of Government Affairs for the Washington Realtors Association;
Chief Gary James, Lummi Tribal Law and Order, a tribal law enforcement representative;
Suzanne Moreau from Puget Sound Labor Agency representing organized labor; and
Annette L. Hayes, Assistant U.S. Attorney for Western Washington.
Additional representatives of the U.S. Attorney’s office and local law enforcement have also been invited to join the task force.
The “Operation: Allied Against Meth” task force will convene three meetings, the first at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 10, in the Senate Rules Room at the state Capitol. All three meetings will be open to the public. Subcommittees will hold additional meetings to develop strategies in specific areas.
By the final meeting, the task force plans to have developed recommendations for a legislative package to present to the 2006 Legislature for approval.
For more information contact:
Janelle Guthrie, AG Media Relations Director, at (360) 586-0725, (360) 561-4184 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org