Operation Our Town Re-launches Cops in Shops Program at Local Pharmacies

Operation Our Town’s Pharmacy Roundtable, comprised of representatives from pharmacies around Blair County as well as representatives from Value Drug Company, Blair County District Attorney’s office, PA Attorney General’s office, local law enforcement, and others, have announced the re-launch of the Cops in Shops program at local pharmacies.  This Cops in Shops program, a cooperative effort between law enforcement and area pharmacies, places undercover and uniformed police officers inside pharmacies as a deterrent to criminal activity.

“The Pharmacy Roundtable re-launched this program in light of the increased targeting of pharmacies for illegal access to controlled substances.  These undercover operations have allowed law enforcement to see first-hand the security and safety challenges pharmacies face every day,” says Jackie Atherton Bernard, Blair County First Assistant District Attorney.  “While officers work hard to blend in, they also take the time to review security procedures and make suggestions to management for improvement.  We feel the Cops in Shops effort will discourage the presentation of forged prescription forms and deter those individuals that might otherwise target a pharmacy for robbery or burglary.”

 A proven law enforcement technique, this undercover program is funded through a grant from Operation Our Town. To help efforts, Operation Our Town has produced signs to be posted at the front doors of participating pharmacies, advising customers that an under­cover operation may be in progress.  Pharmacies are also encouraging customers to assist with the program by removing hats and sunglasses prior to entering the store.

Greg Drew, Value Drug Company president and pharmacist, as well as Operation Our Town Pharmacy Roundtable Chairperson, is an enthusiastic advocate of this collaborative effort.  “Value Drug Company is pleased to take an active role in deterring illegal activities at pharmacies in our area,” informs Greg.  “Pharmacists are an important line of defense in the fight to end drug abuse.  We’ve long been trained to identify forged and altered scripts, as well as prescriptions likely to result in prescription drug diversion.  With the in-store support of undercover and uniformed officers, we can help to ensure the safety of our customers and employees.”

The Operation Our Town Pharmacy Roundtable is open to pharmacists and pharmacy owners throughout Blair County.  To become a member or to request free Cops in Shops window clings, contact Operation Our Town at 814.296.8730.  Operation Our Town also provides “No hats, hoods or sunglasses” window clings to Blair County pharmacies, banks and retailers in addition to Push Out the Pusher yard signs, window clings, magnets and other materials.  Materials are available from Operation Our Town at no cost.