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Bainbridge Island Police Department stops accepting old, unwanted drugs

In the past islanders with old or unwanted medications could turn them in for proper disposal at the Bainbridge Island Police Station.

The simple drop box that has always been available for the drugs, however, will soon be removed and the drug disposal program will be discontinued.

The Bainbridge Island Police Department is ceasing its drug disposal program because it simply doesn’t have the resources to operate it, said Interim Public Safety Director Larry Dickerson.

“The big problem we have is storage,” Dickerson said. “We have to store the drugs and they have to be picked up by another jurisdiction.”

“We box it up immediately and then the DEA picks it up,” he added.

But space is limited at the station on the corner of Winslow Way and Highway 305 and storing what unwanted drugs that do come into the station has proven difficult.

“We’ve talked about taking one of our cells and turning that into an evidence room [to store the drugs],” Dickerson said. “But that would be very expensive for the department.”

“The problem is that if you don’t store them properly you are in violation of your accreditation,” Dickerson said.

The department is currently aiming for state accreditation.

Island police will replace the turn-in program at the station with events sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency twice a year, during the spring and in the fall.

The first event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 27 at the police station on Winslow Way.

The drug turn-in event is a partnership between island police and the DEA. The DEA will be responsible for properly disposing of any medications that are turned in.

One benefit of turning in old or unwanted drugs is that by properly disposing of them, dangerous chemicals are kept out of water systems such as lakes, streams and aquifers.

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