DANVERS, MASS. (WHDH) - At least one employee at the Danvers Police Department is on leave this week as an investigation into the management of a drug drop-off box at the police department moves forward. 

The box, resembling a mailbox, sits inside the police department facility. Individuals can insert unused, unwanted, expired or recalled medication into the box. The medication is then supposed to be safely disposed of.  

This week, though, Town Manager Steve Bartha said one police employee was placed on paid leave after allegations were made about “the management of the department’s drug take back box.” 

“The Town takes these allegations very seriously,” Bartha said in a statement. 

“We also want to be sensitive to the fact that these allegations, at this point, are simply that: allegations,” the statement continued.

Drug drop-off boxes are not only found at police departments. Some pharmacies also have them. 

The owner of Cure-Aid Pharmacy in Lawrence explained safety procedures around her pharmacy’s drop-off box. 

“It has to be bolted to the wall, to ground, so you can’t just pick up this box and take it with you,” Joanne Ortiz told 7NEWS. “It’s heavy.”  

Ortiz said she wants to make sure her boxes are not tampered with, explaining procedures requiring two people to be present whenever the box is opened to get rid of medications inside. 

Ortiz said there is also a key to access the box and coded stickers to track both what is collected and where materials get sent. 

“It is dangerous to take any drugs that were placed in there, take them out and resell them or use them,” Ortiz said. 

At the Danvers police station, the drug drop off box is under a security camera and in front of where the department’s dispatcher sits. 

The town has hired an independent investigator to look into allegations. 

Though it is unclear how long the investigation will take, town officials said they will review the investigation’s findings and figure out next steps.  

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