ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Stay Connected
ADVERTISEMENT


Wallingford mayor and police chief’s resistance to drug drop box trumped by new law


WALLINGFORD — Legislation passed by the General Assembly last week will require municipalities to install a prescription drug drop-off box at police stations so people can get rid of unwanted medication safely. In Wallingford, the mayor and police chief have opposed past efforts to implement a drop box because of concerns over cost and security.

The legislation, part of the “budget implementer” bill passed in the last minutes of the 2014 legislative session, takes effect Oct. 1. The Department of Consumer Protection is directed to work with the Connecticut Pharmacists Association and the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association to “develop and implement a program for the collection and disposal of unwanted pharmaceuticals.”

The bill, awaiting the governor’s signature, calls for a secure locked box that is accessible to the public 24 hours a day for “anonymous drop-off of unwanted pharmaceuticals at each municipal police station.” The agencies involved will also arrange for the medication to be incinerated. There’s no deadline for installing a drop box.

Despite continuing reservations, Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. said the town will abide by the new law.

“I’ve voiced my concerns. It’s a cost to the police department, according to the chief,” Dickinson said Friday. “It’s also a security problem ... any time you’re putting unidentified packages in a police department, it’s a security concern.”

Police Chief Douglas Dortenzio could not be reached for comment Friday.

State Rep. Mary Mushinsky, D-Wallingford, said municipalities can apply to the state for a grant to help with costs. The state Department of Consumer Protection has a $50,000 fund to help municipalities comply.

“Some municipalities already have this box,” Mushinsky said. “Those that don’t will be able to get one with the Department of Consumer Protection grant.”

But the grant will only cover installation costs, Dickinson said. He is concerned with operational costs. He also pointed out that the law requires only municipalities — not the state police — to install the prescription drug drop-off boxes.

“There’s the telltale ... There’s an operational cost to it all,” Dickinson said. “If the state police are exempted, it’s probably due to cost. There is not balanced treatment for everyone.”

Meriden is another nearby municipality that doesn’t have a prescription drug drop off box installed at its police department.

Meriden Mayor Manny Santos said he is neutral on the issue.

“I have heard the police department may be installing one with some renovations done to that lobby area,” Santos said. “I don’t particularly have a strong opinion either way. I don’t know enough about it.”

Mushinsky, who was a co-sponsor of the original bill, said making the installation of the drug boxes a law would be beneficial to municipalities and its residents.

“It keeps unwanted medications out of the hands of young people, who might misuse them and keep them out of the waterways,” Mushinsky said. “It’s a safer way to dispose of them than flushing it down the toilet, which is no longer recommended.”

evo@record-journal.com (203) 317-2235 Twitter: @EricVoRJ



Back to WallingfordNews
Top Stories of the Week

Four charged after man stabbed in neck outside Meriden residence …
MERIDEN — A police investigation led to the arrest of four people this month on assault charges stemming from a fight outside a Springdale Avenue … more ...

Police: Former employee and accomplice stole cash register from Meriden …
MERIDEN — Two city women face burglary charges after police say they stole a cash register from a Colony Street restaurant. The owner of the … more ...

Wilcox principal on leave, letters detail ‘leadership and communication’ issues …
MERIDEN — Lisa Hylwa, the principal of Wilcox Technical High School, was placed on administrative leave in January pending an investigation by the state technical … more ...

Worm found in Wallingford school lunch, administration confirms …
WALLINGFORD — A worm discovered in a fruit cup served for lunch at Sheehan High School has prompted concern among some parents. The director of … more ...

Meriden Animal Control at capacity, can’t take any more dogs …
MERIDEN — With only six open kennels, animal control officers face restrictions on being able to take dogs in. Animal control officerSarah Bacon said of … more ...

Latest Comments