LITTLE ROCK -- Twin brothers Russ and Chris Littleton, patrol officers with the Little Rock Police Department, decided about a year and a half ago they wanted to make a dent in the city's methamphetamine problem. They volunteered for training on how to spot chemicals used to make the drug and cultivated information in the drug community. They visited stores such as Wal-Mart and Walgreens, told employees what purchases should arouse their suspicions and passed out their personal cell phone numbers.
Their efforts appear to have paid off. Last year Russ Littleton helped bust more than 26 meth labs, arrest 47 persons and had 232 felony drug charges. Chris Littleton helped bust more than 44 labs, arrest 51 people on drug charges and had 250 felony charges.
Police officials say it's unusual for a patrol officer to bust more than a few meth labs in a year.
"They just have a knack for finding them," said Lt. CP Thomas Jr., Chris' supervisor. "They're like a bulldog looking for a bone."
Russ, who works in the Northwest Patrol Division, joined the department six and one half years ago. Chris works in the Southwest Patrol Division and joined the department a year later. They use a variety of techniques to sniff out meth labs. They find some help from the department's narcotics officers. They also use information from store employees who notice suspicious purchases. Sometimes the brothers simply visit an address where they've made previous busts and find another lab in operation.
At some locations, "You can just drive by and pick up a chemical scent," Russ said. The brothers said they make most of their busts by simply knocking on a door and asking if they can look inside. Occupants sign forms giving them consent to search the property. "Russ is a salesman," said Sgt. Ralph Jackson, who was Russ's supervisor for 10 months last year. "This guy has a knack for getting consent to search."
The 30-year-old brothers received commendation bars at a police department ceremony honoring officers' achievements Jan. 20.
The brothers are 1991 graduates of Thayer High School and are the sons of Dennis and Debbie Redmon of Thayer.