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The More You Know: A Message from AIC Drug Task Force Chair Mayor Tammy de Weerd of Meridian

Posted By Justin Ruen, Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The AIC Drug Task Force met recently as part of their regular conference call and felt it was important to bring the following information to all cities. During the conversation there was a discussion about what are important questions for elected officials to ask their police department or law enforcement partner related to issues involving drugs.  These conversations are critical to narrowing our activities to what issues are of highest priority for elected officials.

What we realized is that as elected officials we need to ask the right questions of our law enforcement representatives. In order to start the conversation – whether you are new to the job or just need a reminder – we put together a list of questions that we hope will encourage a discussion with your police chief, or sheriff and lead to a conversation regarding the drug issue in your community.

We anticipate each of these questions will likely lead to more questions, but wanted to give you a head start:

General

·         What are we doing to address drugs in our community?

·         What type of drugs are we seeing and how do we know?

·         What is the age range of those caught with drugs?

·         How would you describe the drug problem in our schools?

·         What type of drug crimes are you seeing in the community?

·         What is our involvement in drug abuse education in the community such as DARE?

·         What is the stance of the Chief’s/Sheriff’s Association regarding efforts to legalize cannabinoid oil (CBD) and recreational marijuana and what is the Department doing to advance that position, if anything?

·         What can I as an elected official do to help the department proactively reduce substance abuse in our community?

Opioids

·         Do we have an opioid epidemic in our community?

·         How many opioid deaths have we had in our community?

·         Do we have a take back program for drugs?

·         What happens to the drugs we confiscate?

·         How are confiscated drugs disposed?

If you found those questions helpful, or if you want to get involved in the task force, I wanted to invite you to join us.  The Task Force will hold a panel discussion as part of AIC City Officials' Day at the Capitol on January 24 from 1:30 to 2:00 pm. We’d love to have you join us for this opportunity to learn more about the issues we are facing as cities in Idaho and how you can do your part to keep Idaho drug free. To help you understand why all this matters, here is link to a documentary called Chronic State. Please try and watch the video prior to attending the panel discussion. The documentary can be viewed on You Tube (36min) or Vimeo (56min).

Mission Statement:

The AIC Drug Task Force is the combined effort of cities to keep our communities safe from drugs and to minimalize the impacts to the children and families of Idaho. Our focus is to educate AIC members and state officials on pressing issues influenced by drugs, share best practices in order to successfully help other communities face drug-related challenges, promote community coalitions as a strategy to engage the community in solutions, encourage diversion programs, and support drug-free workplace policies in the private and public sector. 

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