City collects medicine, narcotics

Oct. 15, 2014

By Alexandria Zamecnik

By Ryan Marshick

 

A drug drop box was placed outside of the Whitewater Municipal building two years ago. After two years of collecting unwanted pharmaceuticals and narcotics, the program is still successful, said Captain of the Whitewater Police Department Brian Uhl.

“The Whitewater Police Department has had the drop box for about two years, and we average about 25 pounds of drugs per month,” Uhl said.

The types of drugs received through the drop box are not documented in any particular way.  But the police department does monitor the drugs that are disposed of.

Items that are allowed consist of prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, liquids, inhalers, sprays and vitamins.

Sharps, oxygen tanks, nebulizers, batteries, radioactive cancer medication and mercury thermometers are not accepted in the drug drop box, according to the Whitewater Police Department.

The department does not accept street drugs such as heroin or marijuana in the drop box. If they received such items, the department would have to take action.

“We only weigh what comes in, and then when it is taken to a disposal site, the pharmaceuticals are separated by a pharmacist by type, either narcotic or non-narcotic,” Uhl said.

The drug drop box was implemented in 2012 as an effort to enhance the Whitewater Police Departments community partnerships, Chief of Whitewater Police Department Lisa Otterbacher wrote in the WPD Newsletter.

Whitewater is one of the few cities in Walworth County that has a drop box, but the idea is becoming popular in surrounding cities.

“The next closest drop box is in Jefferson,” Uhl said. “But I know there are several communities in Walworth County that are looking into getting drop boxes.”

If a resident is considering disposing of narcotics, but are afraid they will get in trouble, they can drop off the item in the original container, but remove the labels.

The service is meant to be a safe and anonymous way for anyone in Whitewater to dispose of medications, according to the Whitewater Police Department.

“Studies have shown that residential supplies of pharmaceutical controlled substances, those found in our home medicine cabinets, have become the supply choice for young people and criminals,” according to the Whitewater Police Department.

The Whitewater Police Department has made further attempts to create a safer community where its residents can stay anonymous, with the implementation of TipSoft Anonymous Tip System.

TipSoft is a texting program that allows the community to send anonymous messages to report crimes. Once the tip is submitted, the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office receives the message. They then attempt to solve the problem.

The Whitewater Police Department said that while it looks forward to receiving your tips, if there is an emergency, always dial 9-1-1 so that police and emergency services can respond as quickly as possible.

To submit a tip by cellphone: text 274637 (CRIMES) and start the message with the agency keyword TIP4WC. Then attach your message to the end of the text.

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