WOOLWICH TOWNSHIP, NJ (WTXF) A local police station is trying something new to get drug dealers off the streets. The department posted banners asking drug dealers to report other dealers to the police to eliminate their competition.
This Woolwich Township Police Department's initiative has sparked debate on social media.
Some say that any plan to get drug dealers off of the streets is a good idea. Others think that encouraging drug dealers to give police info on rivals could result in serious consequences.
A majority of the police department’s Facebook responses have been positive but the critics are strong.
Earlie Harrell, who was formerly a gang leader, is now an activist helping young people turn their lives around. He says the response to this initiative could be a problem.
He makes the claim that lighthearted initiatives can generate public support but they don't really address the larger problem of changing behavior, not just locking people up.
“It’s already the way of life. That’s already how it is,” Harrell explains. “It’s not like this can be completely shielded and safely implemented.”
Harrell expresses his doubts on the end goals of the initiative and wonders who in fact will benefit.
However, many are hopeful of its success.
Woolwich police officers report that their social media posts about the issue are often light hearted. The tactic has worked elsewhere and police are hopeful that it will positively impact the community.
Photos: The Woolwich Township Police Department