Johnson City, TX – One Texas police department is offering to test people’s meth for possible coronavirus contamination.
In a now deleted post, the Johnson City Police Department took to Facebook saying they have reason to believe methamphetamine in Blanco County may be contaminated with the coronavirus.
The department said if people have meth they would like to get tested before use, they can go to the Johnson City Police Department, Blanco County Sheriff’s Office or the Blanco Police Department for testing.
Those wishing to keep their meth in the “privacy of your own home” can contact the Blanco County Dispatch to have an officer come to your house and test it.
Some people were not happy about it.
“Spreading false information about Coronavirus/COVID-19. Making joke PSA’s about public health issues is irresponsible,” said one reviewer on their Facebook page.
But the JCPD was not alone in their efforts. In Merrill, Wisconsin, the police department issued a similar offer, defending its actions after a few negative comments.
The post was shared Wednesday, Feb. 27 and has since gained more than 3,000 reactions and 4,000 shares.
Merrill police said, “If we can help only one person, it’s worth it!”
It didn’t take long for the anti-police fanatics to start their attacks.
One Facebook user commented:
“You mean after you confiscate it and start planting it on innocent people it will help your arrest quota?”
But the social media manager for the PD was not to be deterred by trolls.
“You are in the wrong dimension sir. Please exit through the wormhole,” came the reply.
Others were more incensed by the use of the coronavirus as part of the “ploy.”
Others were not afraid to take a verbal shot at law enforcement. Several are just over the line of decency and will not be shown here.
Additionally, departments in St. Francis County, Arkansas, Tavares, Florida, and Decatur County, Kansas, have all blasted out the warning.
But it wasn’t just Facebook users who were going after police departments around the country who used the post.
The Washington Post, who uses the tagline Democracy dies in darkness, while not having seen the light of truth or reality in years, did not hold back on their disdain for law enforcement’s attempt to get drugs off their city streets.
They also made sure to include the only post that included the President in it.
“I would rather not see police departments making ‘jokes’ like this online or posting false information about a pandemic that is already being treated cavalierly by the executive branch,” one woman said in a comment on the Merrill Police Department’s post.
So, rather than applauding law enforcement agencies for trying to get drugs off the streets, the Post took the opportunity to criticize them.
Let’s be honest for a moment. Law enforcement cannot win with the mainstream media.
One moment, they are annoyed by how antisocial cops are. Have a sense of humor, they say. Stop being so serious all the time. Act like humans with personalities instead of just being tyrannical robots.
And the minute that a few departments try to engage their communities with the type of jocularity that we see in these Facebook posts, that same mainstream media flips the script and blasts them for trying to do the very things the MSM says that they never do.
Cops cannot win with them.
So, in what can only be called an effort to make cops look stupid, they went and spoke with a bunch of academics about the “hoax.”
Citing the Washington Post:
“That’s pretty extraordinary,” Stefano M. Bertozzi, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley’s School of Public Health, said of the viral police joke.
“This is a time when people need to be taking public health authorities very seriously,” he added. “They’re undermining their credibility that will be very much needed if and when an epidemic comes to their community.”
Ted Gideonse, a professor at the University of California at Irvine’s Program in Public Health, who specializes in substance abuse and public health ethics, said he doubts many would fall for the trap.
But the problem with fake news coming straight from a police department is that these “stories end up getting lives of their own,” existing “in the underbelly of the Internet where people don’t actually question things.”
“The last thing we need to do is have people in the local public health departments having to deal with disinformation campaigns coming from their actual colleagues as opposed to social media or bad TV journalism,” he said.
In a break from the norm, the Post did give the Merrill and Johnson City PD the last word.
After the reaction to its post, the Merrill Police Department said in an update on Thursday that it realized their coronavirus-related hoax had sparked “a lot of opinions, emotions, and touched some tender spots.”
The department said that, if someone were to turn themselves in due to its post, the police would view it as a positive step forward for that person.
“We will take those easy grabs at removing poison from our community whenever we can,” the post said. “That is our role which we un-apologetically must fulfill. It is our hope that an arrest would be the positive catalyst someone may need to start recovery.”
In a statement to The Post, Johnson City Police Chief Ross Allen said his department had copied the post from other police departments and that it was “meant to be satirical.”
“As for criticism, people are entitled to their opinion,” he said.
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