Everyday, three to five kids are arrested by the police for drugs, alcohol, or tobacco abuse. The increasing number of arrests has alarmed police officers thus, they have pursued an aggressive campaign to inform high school students about the dangers of drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
Since the opening of classes in Aug. 7, the Department of Public Safety has arrested 12 students for possession of controlled substance. and from the period of Jan. 1 to Sept. 12, some 47 others have been charged in court for similar violations.
Last Tuesday, police arrested a 14-year-old student of Hopwood Junior High for possession of marijuana, a controlled substance. Four other students from Marianas High School were caught in possession of tobacco.
Police Officer, Sylvan Rangamar, in charge of traffic investigation, has been actively involved in the DARE campaign patiently explaining to students how drugs and alcohol can destroy their future.
“We tell them that a police officer can be their friend, brother or sister who can help them with their problems, who can give them a shoulder to cry on. We try to reach out and make them understand that there are other ways to be cool and,” said Rose Ada, DPS information officer.
Many times, the police officer goes out of his way to talk to parents and discuss the problem in an effort to save the students from further harm, according to Police Officer Rangamar.
Two police officers held a one-hour session with Marianas High School students yesterday morning where they showed the kids photos of car crashes as a result of drunk driving. The students were also made to try the goggles that impairs one’s vision to let them experience how one feels when high on drugs or drunk.
Ms. Ada noted that students at this stage are so vulnerable to influences thus, the need to carry out information campaign showing them the consequences of drug and alcohol addiction.
Two police officers have already undergone DARE training conducting classroom sessions with high school students. Two more officers are in the U.S. mainland undergoing training so that DPS can reach out to private schools as well.
“We do not have enough manpower so we only come to schools based on request by teachers or school authorities. Despite this, we would like to send them the message that there is more to life than turning to drugs and alcohol,” Ms. Ada said.