KC police seeing increasing popularity of PCP

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — PCP use appears to be increasing in Kansas City, and police are concerned because the hallucinogenic drug often makes users violent and unpredictable.

Police have been averaging two or three PCP arrests per week recently, most involving small amounts of the drug intended for personal use, The Kansas City Star reported Monday (http://bit.ly/KBCSQ5 ). In the past, police would sometimes go months without making a PCP arrest, officers said.

PCP was developed in the 1950s as an IV anesthetic but was not approved for human use, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The drug induces hallucinations and often makes users unable to feel pain.

“Of all the drugs on the street, it’s by far the scariest,” said Capt. Todd Paulson, of the East Patrol Division.

In January, it took Paulson and five other officers to subdue a man who was high on the drug. The man was able to throw one officer against a wall while being held in a chokehold. He was not affected by a stun gun and managed to shock three of the officers with the gun before he was subdued.

“You call for backup because there’s going to be an all-out brawl,” said Sgt. Greg Williams of the department’s Central Patrol Division.

Earlier this month, a Kansas City woman who was allegedly kidnapped and tortured over two days told police her attacker smoked PCP throughout her ordeal. She eventually escaped through a window, police said.

The vast majority of PCP found in Kansas City is brought to the city by street gangs in California, an undercover officer in the drug unit told the paper.

A gallon of PCP is divided into ounces that can sell for $350 to $500 each. Users generally smoke cigarettes dipped in the liquid, with each “dip” sold for $10 to $20. An ounce of pure PCP can yield as many as 600 dips, police said.

Williams and Paulson said in the past, PCP arrests would spike when a shipment came to the city but once the shipment was used, police would go months without another arrest. That is no longer the case, they say.

“I wouldn’t say it’s daily, but we’re seeing it more than we used to on a consistent basis,” Paulson said.

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Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com

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