Tennessee police speak out after 'meth-gator' Facebook post goes viral
Following its viral Facebook post about the possible existence of "meth-gators," a Tennessee police department corrected the record last Friday and let social media users know that such creatures actually don't exist.
On July 13, the Loretto Police Department warned the public against flushing drugs down the toilet for fear of creating alligators on methamphetamines. Authorities made the announcement following the arrest of suspected drug dealer Andy Perry, who had allegedly been caught trying to flush meth and other items of paraphernalia down the drain.
Law enforcement used Perry's arrest to crack a joke about the inappropriate disposal of drugs.
"Ducks, Geese, and other fowl frequent our treatment ponds and we shudder to think what one all hyped up on meth would do," the department wrote. "Furthermore, if it made far enough we could create meth-gators in Shoal Creek and the Tennessee River down in North Alabama. They've had enough methed up animals the past few weeks without our help."
Last week, however, police had to dial back its humor after it was flooded with interview requests from major outlets, including NBC, BBC, Fox News and Inside Edition.
"Let us be perfectly clear: the meth gator was a humorous illustration used to highlight the dangers of flushing drugs and other substances down your toilet," the department wrote. "Alas, the meth-gator is not real. Let’s say that again: THE METH GATOR IS NOT (at this time) REAL. We’ve had to explain that to our cousins across the pond twice."
Authorities are capitalizing on the fame generated by their original post by setting up a website to sell shirts and other apparel with the department logo and themes from some of their "more humorous posts."
"All proceeds/profit/money left after operating the website and sending out the merchandise will be donated to a local charity that deals directly with children affected by drug use," the department explained. "If we are successful enough, we hope to branch out and support school programs as well."
As of Monday morning, the department's follow-up post had received nearly 300 comments, some from people who suggested shirt ideas.
"How about a shirt that says: Welcome to Loretto, where we know a joke when we see one," one person suggested.
Others were supportive of the police's charitable initiative.
"Your posts are great, love the humor," another wrote. "Even made it to our little local paper in PA. Need to have t shirts for out of towners like just stopped in Loretto looking for the [meth-gator] or something like that. I definitely would buy."