Building community vital to prevent illegal drug activity

To fight crime and illegal use of drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and alcohol, local residents were urged to build positive relationships between residents and police as Stettler RCMP hosted an information forum April 28.

To fight crime and illegal use of drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and alcohol, local residents were urged to build positive relationships between residents and police as Stettler RCMP hosted an information forum April 28.

“It starts at home with communication,” said Sergeant Lorne Adamitz of RCMP’s drug and organized crime awareness division for Alberta.

“Drug use of any type (by children and youth) is child abuse.”

“That’s why we, as a community, need to get involved as neighbours families, schools, churches, and community organizations,” said Sergeant Adamitz.

He urged parents to protect their children from the influences of drugs and crime and for people to connect to and care for people of all ages and take the time to know and care for people.

“It’s not about money, it’s time,” said Sergeant Adamitz.

Parents were given several tools to detect or suspect their children are involved in drugs by changes in behaviour or lifestyle.

“When you see these changes in your child, speak to them and don’t just dismiss the change,” said Sergeant Adamitz.

Community building requires healthy relationships and people making healthy choices, he explained.

While people consume drugs mainly to relieve stress, he warned that pills and medication can be very harmful.

He further cautioned against energy drinks since they can be very intoxicating.

“The further you take yourself from reality (with drug use), the greater you put yourself at risk – it puts you in danger – the less able you are able to control yourself,” said Sergeant Adamitz.

To help police detect drug activity, police rely heavily on tips and information from neighbours and citizens.

“Police are only as good as the people around them,” said Sergeant Adamitz.

“The general public can be the eyes and ears – that’s how we work together.”

“It’s not your responsibility to prove criminality – that’s the job of the police.”

“We need public’s assistance to get all the information we need to get a search warrant,” said Sergeant Adamitz.

He also urged people to be neighbourly by visiting new residents and to work in a group to detect any potential illegal activity.

More information on preventing and detecting drugs and crime is available at Stettler RCMP.