Pubdate: Sun, 26 Oct 2003
Source: Anderson Independent-Mail (SC)
Copyright: 2003 Independent Publishing Company, a division of E.W. Scripps
Author: Jean Scott
Bookmark: (Youth)


FAIR PLAY - Every child is at risk of getting caught up with drugs,
according to Lt. Ken Washington, narcotics-unit supervisor for the
Oconee County Sheriff's Department.

Lt. Washington and other law-enforcement agents in the region have the
challenge of trying to curb what he said is a growing incidence of
illegal drug use, but they also have some hard-working allies.

Among them is the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, a fraternal
organization made up of men and women committed to helping youth,
veterans and Americans who are disadvantaged or handicapped. On
Sunday, Lt. Washington and other officers watched as Elks from four
states joined hands to show solidarity in the fight against drugs.

"It's really important for people to get together and say, 'We won't
stand for drugs.' We really appreciate it," he said.

"Hands Across the Border" drew Elks from South Carolina, North
Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee to the Lake Hartwell State Recreation
Area near the South Carolina-Georgia line. There, they wrapped their
hands around a large red ribbon to display their unity.

Anderson Elks Lodge representative Paul Seery, who said officers from
the Seneca, Lavonia and Toccoa police departments were also on hand,
organized the event to coincide with the National Red Ribbon Campaign.
This year's weeklong campaign, during which people bear red ribbons to
symbolize their stand against drugs, wraps up Friday.

Rudy Peterson, chairman of the drug-awareness committee for Georgia's
Elks Association, said the Elks work to protect children in part by
giving schools literature that explains to students the dangers of
drug use.

Lt. Washington said marijuana is one of the most common drugs that
area youth use but that abuse of prescription drugs such as the
painkiller OxyContin is also on the increase. Many of them are
included in the display case agents take on school visits to help
students recognize that the danger of drugs comes in various forms.

Sgt. Lee Williams of the Oconee County Sheriff's narcotics unit said
the semiautomatic guns inside the case illustrate another danger of
the drug world: the violence.
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin