The Dillingham Police Department is looking for confidential informants to help them build drug cases.
Confidential informants help police by going undercover to buy drugs from local dealers and reporting to the police. Chief Dan Pasquariello explained the program.
“The Dillingham Police are trying to make cases against persons that sell heroin and/or methamphetamine and other controlled substances in this town,” Pasquariello said. “One way we do that is we’re prepared to give rewards to people who want to become confidential informants and help the police and help the community.”
Pasquariello put the word out through a call to Open Line Tuesday.
That call seemed to cause some confusion.
“We are not giving them $500 to buy heroin,” Pasquariello said. “That mystifies me how people could take that message.”
Confidential informants help the police build a case against dealers. Distribution of a controlled substance carries heftier penalties than mere possession. Pasquariello believes these people prey on those in the community with addiction issues.
“No one’s a little kid and says when I grow up I want to be a heroin addict. Just through series of circumstances they end up doing it,” Pasquariello said. “Most addicts I talk to are not happy with the situation. Well you can help this community of Dillingham with the heroin problem by becoming a confidential informant.”
Pasquariello is aware helping the police could come with stigma.
“We need to change the rules where ‘Ooh, you’re a snitch or a narc and that’s a bad thing,’” Pasquariello said. “No, that’s a good thing. Helping the community is a good thing.”
Pasquariello added that this is part of the larger effort by the community to combat drug use.