MERRILL, Wisconsin (KETK) – A Wisconsin police department is using anxiety over the coronavirus to take some methamphetamine off the streets.
In a Facebook post, the Merrill Police Department reached out to those in the local community who may have purchased some meth recently and warned that it “may be contaminated” with the virus that is sweeping across the globe and tanking the stock market.
For those who are worried about the safety of their stash, MPD graciously offered its services. All anyone has to do is bring their meth to the station and MPD will test it for free.
Of course, not every meth user wound (understandably) be comfortable with the thought of going to the station, so MPD went a step further in its willingness to accommodate.
“If you’re not comfortable going into an office setting, please request any officer and they’ll test your Meth in the privacy of your home. Please spread the word! We are here for you!”
The post has been shared almost 6,000 times and has received more than 100,000 comments. And not all have been positive.
Some commenters have accused the department of making light of the deadly serious issue of addiction and of the growing threat of coronavirus. Others have wondered if the post constitutes entrapment.
In an update, MPD answered some of the criticisms.
“It is our hope that an arrest would be the positive catalyst someone may need to start recovery. It is our hope that every drug arrest both works to hold offenders accountable for their deeds and provides them with a path toward treatment options. It is truly heart-warming when we see people succeed in such circumstances. It does happen!
“The previous post commentary was filled with experiences, expertise, successes, fears, and much more. It’s all good conversation and, we hope, catalyst for getting people into a better place. If you know anyone that needs some help in this community there is a local resource guide attached. If you or someone else need a hand, a phone, or just a little help taking that step, WE ARE ALWAYS HERE FOR YOU!”
No word yet on whether anyone has brought in their meth to be tested and whether any arrests have been made. And even if no one takes MPD up on its offer, the department made no apology for trying its novel approach.
“We will take those easy grabs at removing poison from our community whenever we can,” the department said in the post. “That is our role which we un-apologetically must fulfill.”