Cops just want to make sure your meth is gluten-free
A San Francisco Bay Area police force made an unusual offer to meth users this week in a controversial Facebook post.
The Newark Police Department's Facebook is usually pretty typical. They celebrate colleagues winning awards, report on urgent news and try to find missing people.
In one unusual caption, the department offered to test meth for users to make sure it's gluten-free.
"Is your meth laced with deadly gluten? Not sure? Bring your meth down to the PD and we will test it for you for free!" the post says.
Since it was posted on May 4, the message has been viewed 24 million times.
Newark Police Lt. Chomnan Loth, who manages the department's Facebook page, told CBS San Francisco he doesn't think of himself as a social media genius.
He came up with the idea for the post after watching an infomercial about gluten-free diets, followed by a movie about Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.
Loth told the outlet he wants to show the public that officers are not emotionless robots.
"We're just regular people just like everyone else," he told CBS. "Your neighbor, mom, dad, brothers and sisters. And it's nice and refreshing to see a police department that's not too serious. We're able to show the human side of it, and we do have a sense of humor."
Some people have criticized the post for its playful tone.
"When you are done trying to be a comedian, maybe you can post some links for people trying to get help with addiction," one reads.
Loth told CBS that the officers are constantly dealing with serious situations, so it's nice to joke around a bit.
"We deal with a lot of extraordinary things. You know, it's hard on us. It's hard on the community," he said. "And sometimes, you need that relief just to be able to crack a smile and to laugh a little bit."
The police did not receive any takers who wanted to have their meth tested for gluten.