Law enforcement agencies are starting to get creative with the redistribution of equipment seized in drug busts. What was once used in drug crime is now being used in schools for education purposes.
According to Dave Senften, a biology teacher, "Science is all encompassing, people don't realize they deal with science in everyday life.”
Part of “everyday life” includes the drug game, which requires plenty of scientific equipment to play. Instead of trashing such equipment, the sheriff’s office cleaned it up, and with the prosecutor’s okay, gave it to schools for educational purposes and at no charge.
"We have to piece mail it together little here and little there, but something like this, got 4 years-worth of budget in about an hour and half of time!" said Senften.
It turns out that those in the drug circles take pretty good care of their equipment, Senften said they were skeptical when they heard they would receive the confiscated equipment.
He says, "we were told it was nice stuff, we were like is it junk or straight off the shelf, it was almost all top shelf, quality and name brand." The equipment Senften received is easily worth five to ten-thousand dollars.
It is a sign that the Street Crimes Reduction Arrest Program, or S.C.R.A.P, is hitting its mark.
“They are making an impact,” says Lt. Alex Lape of the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office says they gave away more than $150,000 to all the county schools to be used in greenhouses, school buildings and classrooms. It was truly a win-win for the community.
“It’s good to see we are not only able to get the manufacturing of these drugs but to re-purpose it for other projects,” said Lt. Lape
Senften says the students could really get the most out of the program, "a lot of them are excited to sew what we can do, next year I'd like to see these shelves full!”
Newscenter 16 checked to see if any local agencies redistributed lab equipment, and the Cass County Sheriff said they run a similar program to S.C.R.A.P and check with local schools periodically to see what type of equipment they need.
In Berrien County, the Sheriff says schools are welcome to contact them with requests for equipment as well. While Berrien County cannot give anything away, they may be able to sell it to schools for a cheap price.