Law enforcement officials are pushing back against a bill that allows people to drop off illegal drugs, such as cocaine and heroin, and drug paraphernalia at police stations.
Currently police stations accept unused prescription drugs in designed drop boxes.
Jim Bryfonski of the New Hampshire Police Association told lawmakers at a hearing on Tuesday that the bill weakens officers' ability to arrest drug dealers.
“By allowing citizens to turn in illegal drugs this law will provide an effective defense to the charge of possession of controlled drugs and the possession with the intent to distribute," said Bryfonski, the Police Chief of Bedford.
Bryfonski also argued that accepting drug paraphernalia, such as dirty needles, would put officers’ at risk of contracting Hepatitis C and HIV.
But backers of the bill argue it gives people a legal place to dispose of drugs if they decide to stop using them.
Last summer Gloucester, Massachusetts began a similar program where people who drop drugs off at the police station are not arrested, but offered help. Police stations in neighboring states such as Connecticut, Maine and Vermont have adopted similar policies.