Detroit’s New Anti-Drug Slogan “We’re Sniffin’ it Out” Under Scrutiny

A new anti-drug campaign in Detroit, Michigan is catching heat for its now-controversial slogan, “We’re Sniffin’ it Out.” The campaign, launched by the Detroit city police department, intends to crack down on the growing drug networks throughout the city.

Government officials claim that cocaine in particular is rising in popularity, as heroin has been getting unfavorable press in recent years – due to an increasing number of overdose-related deaths.

A statement released on Monday by the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners described the campaign:

The “We’re Sniffin’ it Out” campaign is a coordinated effort by the Detroit police department to root out these drug networks. We are going to get out there, sniff out the cocaine, heroin, and other drugs, and start locking these people up. 

The campaign has drawn sharp criticism from observers. “We’re Sniffin’ it Out? Are you serious?” said Janie Gallagher, a resident in South Detroit. “So, we have police officers sniffin’ out coke? Who does their marketing?”

Weird Al Yankovich released a new single that parodies the campaign using the hit tune, “Stayin’ Alive,” by the Bee Gees. The chorus goes:

Whether you’re a brotha or whether you’re a cracka
You’re sniffin’ it out, sniffin’ it out
Feel the white flowin’ and energizin’
We’re sniffin’ it out, sniffin’ it out
Ah, ha, ha, ha, sniffin’ it out, sniffin’ it out

When questioned on the slogan, one Detroit police officer responded, “I don’t know what the big deal is. Cocaine, heroin, and all those other drugs. I’m out there on the streets sniffing it out everyday. And I enjoy doing it. It gives me motivation… and a whole lotta’ energy. What’s so controversial about that?”