Chicago Police DepartmentSpecial Order S02-04-08
Pharmaceutical Collection and Destruction Program
Issue Date:04 September 2013Effective Date:04 September 2013
Rescinds:28 December 2012 Version
Index Category:Human Rights and Community Partnerships
This directive informs Department members of the City of Chicago Pharmaceutical Collection and Destruction Program administered by the Chicago Department of Public Health. The purpose of the program is to both protect the environment and public health. This program has been expanded to all districts and to the area facilities at Belmont and Western.
II.General Information
  • A.Members of the public are encouraged to take unneeded and out of date pharmaceuticals to one of a number of designated City collection sites. The City’s primary collection site is operated by the Chicago Department of Public Health’s Household Chemical and Recycling Facility. The Police Department will now also participate in this collection effort.
  • B.A secure “drop box” container for pharmaceuticals will be placed within a publicly accessible site inside each of the Department's district and area facilities. Department members will not be required to secure, verify, handle or inventory these pharmaceuticals. However, due to the fact that some pharmaceuticals are categorized as controlled substances, a law enforcement officer will be required to witness its handling when an authorized environmental contractor comes to retrieve and destroy the prescriptions.
  • C.Department members will not be required to prepare any report or sign off on any transmittal pertaining to the pharmaceutical collection and destruction activities. All responsibilities for paperwork and documentation is between the Chicago Department of Public Health and the contracted vendor.
  • A.District commanders will:
    • 1.identify a location inside the district or area facility for the placement of the pharmaceutical collection box which the public can access without interrupting the conduct of police business.
    • 2.not authorize the pharmaceutical collection box to be placed behind the district desk.
      The collection box will be placed in such a location which will allow district desk personnel to observe and monitor the activities of persons dropping items into it.
  • B.District Station Supervisors will:
    • 1.monitor the pharmaceutical collection box to ensure its safekeeping.
    • assigned and keep secure a key to the pharmaceutical collection box.
    • 3.assign a police officer to witness its handling when the environmental contractor reports to the station for the purpose of retrieving and destroying the pharmaceuticals.
      SET Environmental, Inc. has the contract for this work; the SET Environmental employee will be required to present identification to the station supervisor upon reporting to the facility. The environmental contractors will be instructed not to collect the pharmaceuticals during 2nd or 3rd watch changes (i.e., 0530 - 0700 or 1400 - 1530 hours). Pick ups will be on an incremental basis and may only be a couple of times a month; the volume of pharmaceuticals will determine the frequency of pickups.
    • the event of questions concerning this City initiative, contact the  Chicago Department of Public Health .
  • C.The assigned officers:
    • 1.will give the pharmaceutical collection box key to the environmental contractor.
    • 2.may wear personal protective equipment (i.e. masks / gloves) should they so elect.
    • 3.will witness the removal of the contents and accompany the environmental contractor to the outside site on the grounds of the district or area facility (normally a SET Environmental vehicle parked in the district or area lot) for the purpose of witnessing the destruction / rendering of pharmaceuticals into a non-controlled substance state.
      To witness the destruction the officer will stand at a distance identified by the environmental contractor while still being able to observe the activity.
    • 4.ensure that the collection box key is returned to the station supervisor.
    • 5.will inventory any non-pharmaceutical contraband found in the collection box according to established Department practice and policy should that item merit same.
      Hypodermic needles or syringes found in the pharmaceutical collection box will not be inventoried; the environmental contractor will process these items in accordance with already established bio-waste procedures between the Chicago Department of Public Health and Streets and Sanitation.
      The destruction of any pharmaceutical containers/vials, or other containers is the responsibility of the environmental contractor.
Authenticated by: JKH
Garry F. McCarthy
Superintendent of Police
13-068 RWN
Chicago Department of Public Health - Household Chemical and Recycling Facility
1150 N. North Branch