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Are you a drug dealer with stiff competition that is putting a dent in your customer base?

The Charlton Police Department is offering to help you corner the market in your neighborhood — well, sort of.

In a post on the department's Facebook page, officers beckon drug distributors to fill out a faux form to tattle on their rivals.

The post reads: "Attention Drug Dealers! Are your drug dealing competitors cutting into your profits? We offer a FREE service to help you eliminate your competition."

The post goes on to ask the dealers to provide them with the competition's name, address, phone numbers, what drugs they're selling, and where they're being sold.

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Officer Richard McGrath said Friday's post was meant to be entertaining — nothing more. But he acknowledged that officers would pursue any leads if a form was filled out and sent to headquarters.

"Not everything that we post on our page is serious, hard-core police news," McGrath said. "If someone downloaded it and passed it along? We'd forward it to the detective bureau and have them look into it. But the investigation and how it would proceed would depend on the circumstances of the case."

McGrath said police would treat it the same way they would treat any information sent to investigators from an anonymous party.

"It's the same as anyone who walks through the front door of our department and says the same thing to us. It could be their competition, or it could be someone whose motivation is altruistic," he said. "This is the exact same thing, but with a different format."

The latest post elicited a range of responses. One person took it very seriously.

"So stupid. So are they going to execute no-knock search warrants? Hmm, ya I don't see this going well especially on unconfirmed houses they raid," the commenter said, noting that some departments have used similar tactics in earnest.

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An ad placed in a newspaper in Georgia last month by a local sheriff's department was nearly identical to the Charlton form.

But Charlton police have a history of tongue-in-cheek posts on their Facebook page.

In April, McGrath said, the department shared a photo of an A-10 fighter , claiming officers would patrol the neighborhood in the jet. Residents complained that paying for jet fuel would be costly for taxpayers.

"We just like to try to engage the community. We like to get the people involved," McGrath said. "Sometimes there is humor. Nothing is always serious."


Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.