Pubdate: Wed, 18 Dec 2013
Source: Bridge River Lillooet News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2013 Lillooet News
Author: Wendy Fraser
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)


Prevention, Education Are Key

Remember the saying that it takes a village to raise a child?

RCMP Cpl. Dean Gladue says it also take a village to mobilize and 
bring people together around the common goal of healthy youth making 
healthy choices about drugs.

Cpl. Gladue works with the RCMP's Community Prevention Education 
Continuum (CPEC) drug prevention framework and says education and 
enforcement must work together in tackling drug-related issues.

"We will come into a community to assist, but we can't do it alone; 
it must be a community initiative," Gladue told a Dec. 10 meeting of 
social workers and drug and alcohol counselors at the Lillooet 
Friendship Centre. Cpl. Stew MacMillan, who runs the RCMP's local 
DARE program, also attended.

The DARE program, provided to all Grade 6 students in the Lillooet 
area, is a social skills program aimed at equipping children with 
information that encourages a drug-free lifestyle. Gladue said DARE 
alone cannot be expected to achieve what a comprehensive K-12 
strategy is designed to accomplish.

Last week's meeting was an introduction to CPEC. "I'm asking you to 
give this some thought and decide where we go next," said Gladue.

It was decided that the next step will be to share information about 
CPEC with the Community Partners Group, a group of local agencies and 
service providers that meets regularly.

Cpl. Gladue was asked why the RCMP is focusing on Lillooet for the 
CPEC program?

He gave four answers:

- - The "mix" in the community, which is 50 per cent Aboriginal and 50 
per cent non-Aboriginal

- - Lillooet's relative geographic isolation

- - The strength of the caring individuals in the community

- - Concerns about a "slight issue" with gangs in Lillooet, 
specifically Redd Alert and the Hell's Angels.

"Organized crime is always making an effort to come into 
communities," warned Cpl. Gladue. "Organized crime comes in many 
facets. It's not just a stupid kid who goes off the rails at 14. 
Sometimes organized crime wears a three-piece suit."

He added, "They come here to hide in a little community. There's too 
much heat in Surrey so they might decide, 'I've got an aunt in 
Lillooet, I'll go stay with her.'"

He said pressure should be put on Redd Alert so the gang knows it is 
not welcome in Lillooet.

Gladue offered several practical suggestions for how the community 
can reach out to its youngsters. He said teenaged Cadets can set an 
example for younger children. "Get those kids to come into the 
schools and they can talk at the Grade 7 level about making choices."

He suggested LSS grads now attending university could be invited into 
the high school once their year winds up in April to talk about the 
importance of staying in school and what the university experience is like.

A former Harlem Globetrotter, Lefty Williams, is active with CEPC on 
Vancouver Island. "If you can bring in a sports hero to come and talk 
about choices, that's good, or Aboriginal communities can bring in 
very talented pow wow dancers."

He added, "We need to teach, not preach. When we preach, kids will do 
exactly what we tell them not to do. I can attest to that because I 
was one of those kids."
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom