The Cicero Police Department recently unveiled a new prescription drug giveback program, made possible through a grant from the Kinney Drug Foundation. Present for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new MedReturn box were, from left, Cicero Volunteers in Police Services volunteer John Krider, Cicero Town Board member Mark Venesky, Cicero Senior Advocate Diane Browning, resident Elizabeth Fedele (who christened the box with a prescription dropoff), Greg Wolanski of Kinney Drugs, Cicero Police Chief Joseph Snell and Cicero Supervisor Jessica Zambrano.
Photo by Sarah Hall.
continued Krider said he saw a MedReturn box while on a trip to the Midwest and immediately thought of bringing it to the town of Cicero.
“When I saw the box I could think, ‘Oh, why don’t we have things like that where I live?’ Heaven knows there’s enough of that type of mentality around,” Krider said. “But because of the time that I’ve been a volunteer here, I know the receptiveness of our local government, especially our police department, to new ideas and new things that benefit our community.”
So Krider took down the information on the box and brought it up with Snell and the town board. Snell reached out to the Kinney Drug Foundation to ask for their help in bringing a MedReturn box to Cicero.
“Kinney’s has four stores in the town of Cicero. We’ve had a great relationship with them over the years. Every year, at drug giveback time, we participate with them, putting officers in the stores to take the drugs back and then turn them over to the DEA,” Snell said. “Kinney’s has a foundation, and we naturally thought of Kinney’s since they’ve been very proactive in assisting us in this endeavor. We sent a letter to them asking if they’d be interested in funding this program, and they were.”
Residents are encouraged to drop off any unused medications in the box. However, if seniors are homebound and unable to get to the police station, Snell said they can still take advantage of the program.
“Any senior that can’t come to the police department, can’t get a ride up there, we’ll send a police officer to their residence,” Snell said. “All they have to do is call the Cicero Police Department, and we’ll send an officer out there to collect their unused medications and put them in the MedReturn box.”
According to Cicero Senior Advocate Diane Browning, it’s especially important for seniors to get rid of their unused medications to keep them from being abused.
“I’ve found that a lot more seniors are bringing up their grandchildren or babysitting their grandchildren during the day,” Browning said. “They’re not thinking about it, and they’re keeping the drugs in the cupboard and kids can get at them.”
For more information about the program or to schedule an appointment with an officer for a homebound senior, contact the Cicero Police Department at 699-3677 ext. 20.