Pubdate: Fri, 20 Oct 2006
Source: Troy Messenger (AL)
Copyright: 2006 Troy Messenger
Author: Matt Clower, The Messenger


Local Police Hope That in the Coming Week, a Piece of Red Ribbon Will 
Become a Symbol to Remind Local Children to Stay Free of Drugs.

On Thursday, Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford officially proclaimed Oct. 
23-31 as Red Ribbon Week in Troy. Throughout the week the Troy Police 
Department will be stopping at numerous area schools to spread the 
messages of drug awareness and education.

"Officers with the Troy Police Department will be participating in 
drug education and awareness programs in Troy schools during Red 
Ribbon week," said TPD Chief Anthony Everage. "This year we would 
like to make our children aware that staying healthy and drug free is 
a positive choice they can make for themselves."

Public Information Officer Sgt. Benny Scarbrough said the department 
will be making visits at schools every day next week. It's an 
initiative department undertakes every year during read ribbon week, 
and Scarbrough said the goal is to encourage children early on to 
make the choice to be drug free.

And Scarbrough said officers can oftentimes see the results of their 
efforts when they meet children they've spoken to years later.

"When you talk to kids in the second grade and then meet up with them 
five or six years later and they say they can remember when you came 
and spoke to their class, you realize that these massages stay with 
kids for years," Scarbrough said.

Scarbrough said the department hopes the foundation laid during these 
talks will help kids make smart decisions for years to come.

"If these kids can remember us having talked to them five or six 
years later then that is a seed planted, and we hope that seed will 
continue to grow" Scarbrough said.

According to information released by the TPD, observing Red Ribbon 
Week during the last week of October has been a tradition in 
thousands of schools in the U.S. since 1988, when the U.S. Congress 
officially proclaimed the first Red Ribbon Week.

Red Ribbon Week is dedicated to the memory of fallen Federal drug 
enforcement agent Enrique Camarena, who was killed in the line of 
duty in 1985. What began as a memorial to a fallen officer has become 
a nationwide campaign to promote better awareness of drug safety 
amongst children.
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