By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – Ecstasy, meth, cocaine and crack will be the topic of a presentation being held Thursday night by the Morinville Citizens on Patrol (COP) and the Morinville RCMP detachment. Although the presenter, Sgt. Adamitz of “K” Division, will discuss what various drugs do to the human body; the bigger message is what those same drugs will do to a community.
“A recognized expert in the field is coming to speak regarding some of the crimes in Alberta – what they are, what they look like, how they affect you, what the results of use of the drugs are,” said COP volunteer Randy Jordan, adding Adamitz’ presentation is not to be missed. “It’s really quite interesting. He covers a lot of ground, and it’s certainly eye opening.”
Jordan said the presentation is tailored to Morinville’s situation and not a cookie cutter presentation presented in all communities.
“I hope it steers people away who are thinking about going down that path because some of the results can really be quite dire,” Jordan said, adding the presentation he saw two years ago stuck with him. “Some of those images are still firmly locked in my brain.”
Although the Cop are hoping for a large turnout from the community, Jordan said they are recommending attendees be 14 or older due to the sometimes graphic nature of the presentation. And being an extra set of eyes for local police, Jordan and his fellow COP members know how graphic that picture can be.
“It’s not huge, but it’s large than I would have thought,” Jordan said of Morinville’s drug situation. “Everyone always thinks of Morinville as safe little Morinville. There’s a lot more going on here than the average person is aware of. It may not be as bad as the city, but it’s still a problem.”
Jordan said the problem with drugs extends beyond the addiction problem. “There’s the drug problem itself, but it leads to lots of other criminal activity. There are a lot of thefts and B&Es, as people try and support their habit. It’s not really a direct drug problem, but it stems from drugs.”
Although the COP get an opportunity to occasionally see drug crimes in action through their patrols, presentations like the one planned for Thursday night are also an important part of the work they do.
“We do do the patrolling part, but we’re also involved in crime awareness and prevention,” he said. “If you can stop a crime from happening or alert people to the danger of exposing themselves to crime, it’s a much cheaper way than after the fact.”
Jordan said although educating residents of the danger of drugs is the central focus of the evening presentation, the COP are also hoping to raise awareness of what they do in the hopes of securing more members of the organization.
The RCMP Drug Awareness presentation takes place Mar. 10 at the Morinville Parish Hall. The program starts at 7:30 p.m.