JOPLIN, Mo. — Law enforcement agencies across the nation are taking part in an annual campaign — helping to keep communities safe.

It’s “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.”

The “Joplin Police Department” is one of several agencies taking part in the campaign.

The department joined forces with the “Alliance of Southwest Missouri” and the “Joplin Area Safe Teens Coalition” to host a “DEA Take-Back and Trunk or Treat Event.”

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration works with departments nationwide twice each year to dispose of any expired or unused prescription medications.

“It’s very important. We don’t want kids getting a hold of those medications. And so this is a good event where we can actually collect those and then destroy them to keep other people from getting to them and abusing them,” said Sgt. Brett Davis, Joplin Police Department.

Sergeant Davis says this event usually fills one or two large trash bags full of prescription pills.

He adds the drop-off location at the Joplin Police Department typically only needs emptying once every three months.