TPD Commits To Updating Meth Lab Map

Tuesday, April 14th 2009, 11:24 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Meth labs leave behind hazards that renters may never be aware of.  Landlords don't have to disclose if there was a meth lab in your apartment prior to you getting there.  You're supposed to be able to check for yourself online, but some of that information is more than a year out of date.

Shake and bake meth is shattering lives and sparking deadly blazes all over Tulsa.  But, the risks linger even after the fires are out and the suspects are behind bars.   

"When you mix those chemicals there are gasses that are emitted from that mixture. And, that gets in the carpet, that gets in the furniture, that gets in the walls. And yes, that poses a serious issue," said Tulsa Police Officer Jason Willingham.

It's a serious issue for the next person who lives in that home.  Meth chemicals can make you sick and prolonged exposure can even cause cancer.  According to Oklahoma law, homeowners looking to sell are required to disclose known hazardous materials and other conditions impacting the environment that includes meth labs.

But, many of the recent meth busts have happened at apartments.  And by law, unsuspecting renters don't have to be notified.

"And, since there's no duty to disclose from the landlords perspective, I think it's critical that we provide for citizens, that are looking into a potential property, that we provide them information based on any police activity," said Tulsa City Councilor Eric Gomez.

You're supposed to be able to track that police activity for yourself online.  The crime tracker on TPD's website features a meth lab map, but it's almost 16 months out of date.

One city leader says that's not acceptable.

"No, it's not. And, the police chief today committed to getting all the information updated by the end of this week," said Tulsa City Councilor Eric Gomez.

Officer Jason Willingham says the department is working on buying software that would update the meth lab tracker automatically.  But right now, all of the information has to be entered by hand.

Willingham says they've committed two officers to getting the meth lab map up to date.

"We realize it's a significant issue. And that people want to know, and people need to know. And so, at the end of the week, people will be able to know," said Tulsa Police Officer Jason Willingham.

Tulsa police says the meth lab map should be up to date by the end of this week.