New program aimed at helping drug addicts in Delafield: "We can't just arrest our way out of the problem"

DELAFIELD -- Delafield police are set to launch an anonymous drug drop-off program on Monday, August 8th that goes beyond accepting old medication or prescription painkillers. Police will collect illegal drugs like heroin and marijuana in an effort to get help for addicts. Addiction counselors think the program will have a big impact.

Beginning on August 8th, Delafield residents will be able to bring illegal drugs right through the front door of the Delafield Police Department -- and they won't have to worry about an arrest.

"If we can get somebody treatment and recovery -- that`s one less person we have to worry about enforcing against," Erik Kehl, chief of police in Delafield said.

Erik Kehl, chief of police in Delafield

The program is the brainchild of Chief Kehl, who spent time researching and drafting the new policy. Kehl said he believes an anonymous drop-off, similar to the successful "Drug Take-Back" prescription pill disposal program will go a long way towards getting heroin, marijuana and other illegal drugs off the streets.

"We can`t just arrest our way out of the problem that exists," Kehl said.

Delafield Police Department

The program will offer an opportunity for recovering addicts or their family members to safely dispose of needles and other drug paraphernalia -- which will also be accepted.

"When we open the door to the community, it takes away the shame and the fear of getting in trouble for it. So people will be more willing and ready to find help I think," Peter Brunzelle, director of SALS Recovery in Waukesha.

SALS Recovery offers outpatient services and housing for people with drug and alcohol addictions.

SALS Recovery

Brunzelle said he hopes other municipalities follow Delafield's lead, as, he said, the alternative is worse.

"It ends up in someone else`s hands or in the street or in the sewers," Brunzelle said.

Chief Kehl said those worried they will be caught with illegal drugs on their way to drop them off can call police ahead of time to let officials know they're coming. Despite cameras in the lobby of the Delafield Police Department, Kehl said the program will be anonymous. He said all police want to do is collect the drugs and properly destroy them.



"I think it`s worth taking the chance and taking the risks to do that if we can help somebody," Kehl said.

Delafield police will give those taking part in this program a list of treatment facilities in the area if they're interested.

This program will be evaluated in six months to see whether there's anything that can be done to improve it.

Delafield Police Department