Police officers are doing double duty for their communities at one South Florida precinct. In addition to getting drug money off the street so it can do no more harm, officers in Sunrise, Florida, are taking the cash and investing it back into the very community it serves with free popup barbeques.
A free meal is always welcome, but the real benefit comes from improved relations between police officers and residents. At a time when communities are often struggling with trust of police officers, it is a good thing for them to be visible doing things that are inarguably positive for the people they serve.
The barbeques happen about once a month, and the site and time are noted on social media accounts.
Benefits of Drug Interdiction
Though police officers are out on the street every day, taking calls of alarm to help residents in crisis as well as doing routine traffic stops that often reveal drug trafficking and sales that are far from routine, the public is not always inclined to view this work as vital. Their work is of great benefit, however, in ways that most do not consider.
For example, drug busts can:
- Take guns off the street that are illegally owned and likely to be used to hurt others, including innocent bystanders
- Take cash off the street that would be used to buy more guns and drugs, and to support drug dealers and drug traffickers
- Take people off the street who would do harm to others, including feeding another’s addiction and giving them drugs that could lead to overdose
- Take drugs off the street that would generate more cash for drug dealers, lead to arguments that could culminate in violence, cause overdose deaths, or contribute to the development of an addiction in someone who is only using the drug because it is available
At borders, in the air, and at sea, drug interdiction serves all of these purposes, but when police officers make it happen, it has a direct and positive impact on the local community and all who live there.
It Takes a Village
Police officers, alone, however cannot be expected to keep the streets safe and free from all drugs all on their own. It takes everyone working together to create a community that is safe for kids to grow up in and for people to live and work in every day. The medical community, governing agencies, and federal agencies must all work together to create the safest environment possible and provide the treatment and services necessary to help people avoid or overcome addiction as needed.
Everyone has a role to play in helping the community to fight back against drug abuse and addiction. Overdose deaths happen almost every day in Florida, and individuals and families can take part in creating the solution that will help us turn the corner on the epidemic and start seeing positive, sustainable change.