GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The East Grand Rapids Public Safety Department has been hosting an open house for Public Safety Day for more than eight years. This year, they decided to combine that event with National Drug Take Back Day. 

At the fire station, families were served coffee and donuts, kids were able to climb inside police cars and firetrucks and people were able to chat with officers. Right next door, the doors were open for people to donate expired or unneeded medications. 

The drug take back event was from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The open house was from 10 a.m. to noon.

Mark Herald, the director of public safety for the city of East Grand Rapids, said the two events helped connect the department and the public and by people bringing in expired or unwanted drugs, it helps keep people and the environment safe. 

“It’s very important. One, you get the drugs out of the house and sometimes we do have issues with people, family members, taking drugs that they shouldn’t, so we can dispose of them that way,” Herald said. “We want to dispose of them in a safe way. So we take them to the incinerator, the DEA helps us out with that and the other thing we want to do is protect the environment, which is very important. You’d be surprised the number of narcotics, even over-the-counter items, that get put down the toilet or sink, and then they get to the groundwater, the ground, and they do significant damage to the environment.”

If you are looking for a place to dispose of your expired or unneeded medication, you can find a place near you here. Kentwood Police Department and the East Grand Rapids Public Safety Department also have drop boxes open year-round, where drugs can be disposed of.