Pubdate: Wed, 29 May 2002
Source: Poughkeepsie Journal (NY)
Copyright: 2002 Poughkeepsie Journal
Author: Tim Walsh


Which presents more of an opportunity to Hudson Valley school students: a 
million-dollar budget gap or drug deals in a lucrative black market?

Police highlight the importance of education as a deterrent to drug use 
(DARE, etc.). They, more than anyone else, should understand that the 
budget crisis is capable of undermining current and future efforts to 
reduce drug use by valley youth.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy estimates that state and local 
governments spend $20 billion annually to curb drug use. With citizens in 
Community Response Teams taking some of the burden off the police force, 
money traditionally used toward law enforcement is available.

I challenge all local police agencies to invest police funds in the Hudson 
Valley into schools as a preventative measure that gives a key demographic 
in the drug war a better choice. Schools with counselors and classes with 
books can do more to keep kids away from drugs and off the street than an 
army of police officers can.

Tim Walsh, Ulster Park
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