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An Ohio police department took to Facebook this week with a faux advisory for meth users about Zika.
“WARNING: If you have recently bought Meth in Preble, Montgomery, Darke or Butler Counties it may be contaminated with the Zika Virus, ” the Gratis Police Department wrote.
They added, “Please bring it to the Gratis Police Department and we will exam it for free. If you’re not comfortable coming into our office, please contact us and we’ll test your Meth in the privacy of your home.”
Gratis police subsequently acknowledged that the drug is unable to host the virus.
“We’re just trying to keep things lighthearted and humanize the police department with some gags, ” Assistant Chief Dennis Blankenship told Fox 45. “We’re not doing it to arrest 100 people that are going to bring in meth. Drug addiction is a serious issue and I pride myself in helping people when it is necessary to that.”
Blankenship said the Facebook post, which has racked up more than 3,100 reactions and 800 commentaries as of Wednesday afternoon, wasn’t intended to lead to arrests.
But that didn’t stop people from questioning the department’s motive.
“Isnt this entrapment? ” a commenter asked.
“I do not support or condone the use of this medication, and get that it’s a funny post. But wouldn’t this be considered entrapment. The police persuading you to do something you wouldn’t ordinarily do in order to bust you? ” another echoed.
“Do you really think we’re being serious and expect people to show up? Come on now. And if they do why do you care? It’s more medications off the street right, ” police replied.
The police department continued, “You have to be persistent in attempting to persuade the person to commit the crime they otherwise wouldn’t be perpetrating. But if they are already in possession of Meth then they are not committing any crime that they wouldn’t already be committing.”
Others had different takes on the situation.
“Should be going after the merchants that’s distributing it and furthering craving. Or how about the ones bringing it in to the traders? ”
“We are, ” police responded. “Every single day.”
But at least one Facebook user suggested police in the field have a bigger problem that needs to be addressed.
“I don’t live there, so I’m unaware of the meth problem. But after reading the posts, you’ve got a bigger problem on your hands. Seems those in your area suffer from a serious lack of humor, ” the user wrote.
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