A Redditor asked the community on Thursday if anyone knew where he could "get some weed" on campus. Const. Mike Russell, an officer with the Victoria police department, created the username VicPDCanada and posted a very simple message to make his presence known in the popular content-sharing community:
"I thought it was pertinent to chime in and remind them that the cops are kind of everywhere," Russell told Metro News.
Once users realized Russell was likely the real deal, many joked around with the officer in the comments with cries like "Scram! It's the Fuzz!" The exchange garnered 1,000 comments and 700 up-votes, making it to the front page of Reddit in a matter of hours.
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Russell explained to Metro that he's responsible for most of the Victoria police department's social media accounts, but Reddit was still quite new to him. It appears, though, he managed to get the hang of the basics pretty quickly.
"Cops are humans, too," Russell said. "It helps if people can see we don't take ourselves that seriously all the time."
Russell's relaxed attitude in the posting and sense of humour garnered requests that he do a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) in the future, where users can ask the person at the focus of that AMA any question they want. Russel says he hopes to set up an AMA in the next few weeks, although he is a bit nervous going into it.
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While Russell received both positive and negative attention through the incident, the user who started the thread has likely learned his lesson about asking in very public forums for illegal substances.
The whole situation seems most unfortunate for the original poster because his initial message stated he was looking for the substance to try it for the first time. A fellow user summed up the steps he should have followed, and ended with the most important one:
"Step never: ask on a public forum."