A shiny metal black box that collects specific deposits now sits outside the front door of the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office.


Installed last Friday, the box allows residents to dispose of old or unwanted medications, which the sheriff’s office will periodically take to be safely and properly destroyed. The box has a three-inch hole covered by a flap, and it’s secured to the ground. The box is also under around the clock video surveillance.


Fannin County Sheriff Mark Johnson noted the idea to place an unwanted drug box in the county came from Professional Standards Officer John Hunt, who was a former police chief of Tom Bean. The Grayson County city installed a similar box outside its police department in February 2014 and Johnson said it proved successful there. He noted that Fannin County has never had a box like this.


“It’s already been put to use,” Johnson said. “People have been using it, and we have gotten a lot of good, positive feedback.”


Johnson said Kenneth Steelman, of Wylie, Texas, constructed and donated the box to the sheriff’s office. Johnson noted Steelman is the father of a Fannin County deputy.


“He donated the material and stuff and fixed it up for us,” Johnson said. “He made a real nice box.”


The box provides residents a way to dispose of the medications without flushing the items down the toilet or throwing the medications into the trash. Johnson said by using the box, it prevents the drugs from entering into the area’s water supply.


“It doesn’t allow that stuff to get into the water system,” Johnson said. “A lot of people use to flush them down the commode — that commode water, believe it or not, ends back into the rivers and creeks and back into the lakes and things.”


Residents can use the box to dispose of any medications, and they will also accept syringes. Johnson said he asks that needles be capped and that the names on prescription bottles and packages be removed or the pills should be placed in a sealed bag before depositing. Also make sure the items are all the way inside, he said.


“There’s a three-inch hole, so you have to be sure to fit it in there,” Johnson said. “Because if you don’t, someone will try to stick their little hand in there and go shopping.”


The Fannin County Sheriff’s Office is located at 2375 Silo Road in Bonham, and the box is available to use at all times.