New Orleans Police Department Tackles Pothead Rats in Their Headquarters

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Crime in New Orleans is so bad that even rats are participating in drug crime. The city’s police department is reportedly dealing with pothead rodents in its headquarters.

The problem is the result of poor maintenance on the building – a problem that has persisted for years. It has become so pronounced that vermin have infested the New Orleans Police Department’s (NOPD) evidence room and partaking of its marijuana supply.

Heavy mold and deteriorating elevators, HVAC units and plumbing are some of the issues that have been plaguing New Orleans Police Department headquarters.
But those aren’t the only problems at aging police facilities around the criminal justice complex near Tulane Avenue and South Broad Street. Don’t forget the vermin, NOPD Superintendent Anne Kirkpatrick told the City Council’s Criminal Justice Committee on Monday.
“The rats are eating our marijuana,” Kirkpatrick said. “They’re all high.”
Rodents have infested police headquarters, scattering feces across desks and feasting on narcotics in the department’s evidence room, she said. Cockroaches are also abundant.
“It is not just at police headquarters. It is all the districts. The uncleanliness is off the charts,” Kirkpatrick said. “The janitorial cleaning (team) deserves an award trying to clean what is uncleanable.”

Kilpatrick indicated that the infestation has gotten so out of hand that officers have found rat droppings on their desks. Apparently, rats eating marijuana isn’t that much of a surprise.

Ron Harrison, global technical director for Orkin Pest Control, told The Associated Press he hasn’t encountered someone reporting rats eating their marijuana though the company has pest control contracts for some greenhouses that grow it.
Harrison said the New Orleans situation isn’t completely shocking since rats are omnivores, and that the rats may experience the same effects from the marijuana as humans, depending on what form it was in.
“From understanding the biology of the rat and how it’s somewhat similar to us, I would think based on the amount or concentration they take in, it would be somewhat similar to what humans experience,” Harrison said.

The NOPD is considering relocating its headquarters to a high-rise in the city’s downtown area with a proposal to lease two floors at one of its towers. “It’s a good deal for the city to move here,” said Chief Administrative Officer Gilbert Montaño, who compared the cost of relocating to the cost of refurbishing the existing buildings.

Oliver Thomas, a city councilmember and Criminal Justice Committee Chair, told reporters “Last year, it was so hot that we had to close the buildings. Sometimes it’s so cold that our officers and the rank at headquarters can’t even occupy the building.”

Relocating the police department might appear to be the best move given the dilapidated conditions of the current building, which was first built in the 1960s. Of course, if marijuana was legalized, they would probably not have to deal with stoned vermin. Perhaps this story further shows why outlawing the plant is a silly idea. After all, nobody wants to deal with rats who are high on pot, do they?



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