Tall order

Seymour police officers see the negative effect drugs have on the community every day.

Use of illegal drugs and abuse of alcohol and prescription medications are destroying families, leading to overcrowding in the jail and causing problems at the hospital and local schools.

The Jackson County Safety Commission is taking a step to help educate and train people on what to look for when it comes to identifying drug use and how to make a difference in the fight to take back the community.

On Aug. 18, from 8 a.m. to noon, nationally recognized drug training officer Jermaine Galloway will present his Tall Cop Says Stop program in the Seymour High School auditorium.

Galloway, standing 6-foot-9, focuses on youth and drugs, the drug culture and up-and-coming trends that are being or will be seen in cities and towns.

The session is geared toward leaders in the community, including government, business and industry, religious, health and education officials and others who work with youth.

“Everyone knows we have a problem,” said Seymour officer Keith Williams, who serves as one of three school resource officers for Seymour Community School Corp. “But most people don’t know what it looks like. We are going to train them and show them what it looks like.”

Williams is a part of the local safety commission, which formed in 2013. There are 21 agencies on board that have invested in the goal and are helping fund the training and signing up employees or representatives to attend.

Working mainly at Seymour High School, Williams said it’s not just up to police to address drugs, but the entire community as a whole.

“Not everyone needs to go to jail,” he said. “It isn’t always about arresting people. Yes, there is a percentage of people out there who are doing drugs that just don’t care, and they need to be locked up, but we have to figure out how to help those people who want and need our help.”

Galloway, regarded as one of the nation’s top experts in drug and alcohol trends, said “you can’t stop what you don’t know.”

“After attending one of my presentations, you will know what is out there, where to find it, how people are abusing it, how items have become popular and why you had not heard of it, new trends, logos, stash compartments, products and much more along with having the knowledge to stop it,” Galloway said.

“I will teach your community or organization how to get out there and do something about it through education, prevention and enforcement,” he added.

“One thing holds true: all of us are dealing with underage drinking and drug usage in our community,” Galloway said. “Now, what are we going to do about it? Are we going to meet and round table the issues every month? Or are we going to get out there, educate ourselves and do something about it?”

Williams said a lot of people talk about the drug problem in Seymour without doing anything to help solve it.

“This training is doing something, and if it doesn’t work, I’ll try something else,” Williams said.

If you go

What: “Tall Cop Says Stop” community drug training, presented by Jermaine Galloway, a nationally recognized drug training officer

When: 8 a.m. to noon Aug. 18

Where: Seymour High School auditorium

Cost: Free

To register: Email Officer Keith Williams at officerwilliams@scsc.k12.in.us

Author photo
January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.