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Task Force Hopes Drug Education Symposium Will be 'Wakeup Call'

“Raising and Educating a Drug-Free Community,” a symposium hosted by the township’s Task Force, will be held 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27 at Lacey Township High School

Lacey Township is going red to promote a drug-free community.

“Raising and Educating a Drug-Free Community,” a symposium hosted by the township’s Task Force, will be held 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27 at Lacey Township High School. For a week prior, the school district, township and businesses will promote the event with red ribbons throughout Lacey

“I hope it’s going to be a wakeup call for parents and that they’re able to see the connection between simple experimenting with alcohol and drugs and how that can end,” Municipal Alliance Coordinator Heather Scanlon said.

As of Jan. 10, Lacey had approximately 40 drug overdoses in 2012. There were six deaths associated with drug overdoses and two alcohol overdoses.

“They went through our school system, lived in our neighborhoods. Nobody thought that would happen,” Scanlon said.

The event is free of charge and will feature three guest speakers: Special Agent Douglas S. Collier, M.A., Steven L. Willis, J.D. and Capt. David A. Paprota, Ed.D.

A complimentary dinner will be provided for attendees at 6:15 p.m. Free childcare will be available. There will be door prizes.

All Lacey students who have a parent or family member in attendance will earn extra credit.

“Studies prove parents have the biggest influence,” Scanlon said. “We all know kids are going to experiment. But parents are the single biggest preventative tool.”

This forum is the second in a series that is being organized by the Lacey Township Task Force to bring light to the drug problem. The first, “Children and Youth Prescription Drug Use: The Unscripted Reality” was held in September to educate physicians with the most up-to-date information about drug abuse.

A Facebook event has been created for the symposium. As of Monday, 70 people RSVPed that they would be attending. The Municipal Alliance anticipates many more. RSVP by calling 609-693-1100, ext. 2203.

Below is a description of each presenter.

Special Agent Douglas S. Collier, M.A., was featured on MSNBC, Heroin Inc. and Discovery Channel, Heroin Nation. Collier was the DEA’s NJ Division Producer for the SPIKE TV show titled “DEA.” He was also the executive producer on the “Heroin: The Ride that Never Ends” DVD and curriculum, which is used by prevention and treatment professionals throughout the state of NJ. As a special agent, Collier conducted investigations targeting heroin and cocaine networks, and organizations involved in trafficking steroids and other drugs.

Steve L. Willis, J.D. is the founder and managing partner of Willis & Gresek, PC, a general practice law firm. While he specializes in all areas of criminal law, Mr. Willis focuses much of his personal practice on substance abuse and addiction related crimes. His specialty is borne out of his own experience with a challenging adolescent child who suffers from the disease of addiction. Willis has presented many lectures before the medical community, school staff, and juvenile justice personnel on the inadequacies of the criminal justice system as it pertains to substance abuse. Willis is a member of the NJ Bar Association and the American Bar Association. He graduated summa cum laude from Montclair University and received his J.D. degree as valedictorian from Seton Hall University.

Capt. David Paprota, Ed.D., has more than 23 years of law enforcement experience and currently serves as the Commander of the Lacey Township Police Department. Paprota is dedicated to raising substance abuse awareness as well as developing and implementing programs to decrease the devastating negative impact of drug abuse in Lacey Township. Paprota earned his doctoral degree at Seton Hall University while also serving as an adjunct professor. He is a published author and has personally participated in training more than 10,000 NJ, NY and PA law enforcement officers throughout his career.

Michelle Finne Richardson January 30, 2013 at 12:25 AM
A drug task force is a great idea , but i think you should have some street smarts to get anything done. If parents do not take resp for their kids then how can the schools? Lacey has a serious problem and needs law enforcement or outside help for this. Most of these kids will run circles around this task force. Kids on drugs very good at putting blame somewhere else this town is not able to handle such a problem SORRY.
Y'all Crazy January 30, 2013 at 12:48 AM
It's not going to stop kids from doing drugs. The day the drug problems end in this world is the day humans no longer exist
Forked River Piney February 17, 2013 at 02:12 PM
lol what about the kids who are not going to be subjected to testing? Tony when is the tea bagger forum on rt 9 in front of Wal Mart I will be there to collect the medicare card and SS checks and return them to the sender
Forked River Piney February 17, 2013 at 02:14 PM
Thanks Gov Christie and Happy Gilmore once again the tax payers got fleeced "Towns that employed debris-removal contractors other than a state-hired Florida firm achieved savings that, when totaled, amount to millions of dollars of taxpayer money. Florida-based AshBritt Inc. charged towns $21.25 per cubic yard to gather roadside debris and bring it to a collection site within 15 miles. That was nearly double the $11.70 asking price of another Florida company, Bergeron, and other firms, records show" That money could have helped a lot of ppl but NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO corrupt OC at work again
JAKE 2 February 17, 2013 at 07:43 PM
!!!! What doesn t everybody get here !!! These drugs are out there for everyone, every kid , regardless of there background , 2 parents , 1 parent , athlete , scholar, , good kid , troubled kid..... any race , any background !!! i have news for all of you , alot of these kids get in trouble with these drugs out of high school also, college students also try these drugs !!! They are so highly addictive it doesnt take long before another drug addict joins the stats !!! its so frustrating to listen to these parents who thinks cause their child is athletic or is in clubs , or gifted with the books are not going to try this , well your wrong !!!! hopefully it won t happen , but so many adults , and students are so uneducated in this , thats why its getting so out of control... you need to understand this before , and i mean before your child gets addicted ( it doesnt take long for that to happen ) once their addicted they are forever an addict...that will never ever go away !!! whether they stay in recovery or not its gonna be a life time battle !!! ITS FOREVER !!!!!! you need to learn about this !!!! for the students and their families, cause its hell , and its so very sad !!!! The signs are hard to recognize at 1st !!!! you need to know what to look for in behavior and physical appearance !!! go and listen and learn !!! Save your child , no matter how good they are now, cause it can happen to anyone !!!!!!!
paddler February 18, 2013 at 02:28 AM
Drug testing should be mandatory for all school athletes.
Tom Messina February 18, 2013 at 02:56 AM
LETS SEE SHOULD WE DRUG TEST THE KID ON THE TRACK TEAM FOR HEROIN OR THE KID HANGING AROUND AT 3 AM IN THE PARKS?
Tom Messina February 18, 2013 at 02:57 AM
hint the kid wouldnt be on track if he was on heroin.test them for red bull maybe.
Y'all Crazy February 18, 2013 at 05:38 AM
That's not true. People in athletics use drugs like heroin too
Tom Messina February 18, 2013 at 09:08 AM
yeah crazy they just run a lot slower i guess. its hard to see the finish line when youre nodding off.
Al Capone February 18, 2013 at 12:56 PM
ask Gilmore
Forked River Piney February 18, 2013 at 12:57 PM
ask Gilmore
Forked River Piney February 18, 2013 at 01:00 PM
Test one test them all or don't test at all
JAKE 2 February 18, 2013 at 03:14 PM
you test them all !!!!! it doesnt matter !!!! ANYONE CAN GET STARTED ON THIS STUFF !!!! but we want to get them before the addiction gets them !!!!! You just dont get it !!!! Athlete or not !!! did you ever see the professional basketball player on ESPN , I Believe his last name was Heron... It was a documentary on his addiction to heroin.... while he was playing professional basketball....He also came to HS NORTH and spoke.... The story is amazing.... He couldnt play with out being high.... He did wind up loosing everything !!!! so , athlete or kid hanging out at 3pm.... it doesnt matter !!!!
JAKE 2 February 18, 2013 at 03:15 PM
and you always are not nodding off !!!!!
Anthony Zoppina February 22, 2013 at 05:03 PM
It will be a good program and let me add --- the time to let the kids know that drugs are a serious problem is when they are juvenile. Currently the system wants to just slap the juvenile on the wrist and send them back in the arms of their parents. If some kid is using drugs and is caught they need to pay a penalty then. Put them in an uncomfortable holding place for a month. let them get a taste of what their future may bring ....
Cathy February 25, 2013 at 01:04 PM
I understand wanting to control the drug problem and we certainly work towards that. I truely hop they address alcohol as well. All of my childs friends PARENTS, feel it is ok for them to drink as long as its in their house or they are somewhere where they will not be driving. How do we justify that its ok at 16 and 17 years old???
Ryan Hardy February 25, 2013 at 03:10 PM
Random drug testing is only going to trample the rights of the innocent. What about the constitution? No probable cause whatsoever.
Nancy Joyce, CanUHearMe February 25, 2013 at 07:51 PM
Thank you Jake. I hear your passion. Every step taken, however little or huge is a step in the right direction. I fear many that need to attend won't. We can't control that but we can continue to try and educate the parents, students, and anyone that will listen.
JAKE 2 February 26, 2013 at 01:07 AM
alcohol too !!!! any parent that allows 16 and 17 year old kids to drink alcohol at their house is crazy and wrong !!!good way to loose everything too !!!
JAKE 2 February 26, 2013 at 01:19 AM
KIDS SHOULDNT BE DRINKING TILL AGE 21... BUT WE KNOW THAT IS NOT GONNA HAPPEN . .... BUT PARENTS SHOULD NOT BE ENCOURAGING THAT BEHAVIOR.... it just amazes me.... oh and Uncle Moe , really ? their rights... we have a drug epidemic here in lACEY.... This must be done.. if they test negative ....wonderful , and if they test positive, thank God it was found out.....they will need help !!!!!
JAKE 2 February 26, 2013 at 01:21 AM
see you wed. NIGHT at the High School... and for sure ill be wearing RED !!!
JAKE 2 February 26, 2013 at 01:25 AM
SEE YOU WED. NIGHT AT THE HS....UNCLE MOE SHOULD GO !!! YOU NEED SOME FACTS ON how bad Lacey is with its drug epidemic !!! wear your Red !!!
tr February 26, 2013 at 02:36 AM
Have a drug sniffing dog at the entrance to the meeting and see how many people run? Unfortunatly, this statement, presented in jest, is actually a reality in Lacey. The village is in trouble folks, we are losing our kids to substance abuse and many have no clue it is happening. GO TO THE MEETING!!!
JAKE 2 February 26, 2013 at 02:44 PM
its a realilty everywhere , but Lacey is bad !!! so sad !!! Hope this realilty check tomorrow night open s some eyes ....unfortualilty i know way to much about this nightmare , but i will certainly be there tomorrow
ed crowley February 27, 2013 at 12:36 AM
How many of the overdoes and deaths were reported? When you don't hear what is happening you don't know how widespread the problem. I don't remember reading about any overdose deaths in the Patch maybe someone can refresh my memory.
JOHNNY Done it February 28, 2013 at 04:25 AM
Got something to hide??? MY kids & my neighbors kids have the right , doing nothing illegal to go to school in a drug free environment & mine & my neighbors kids would be getting tested also , nothing to hide here.. The only probable cause is the one that resists for getting tested for drugs
sally February 28, 2013 at 12:51 PM
Deaths from overdoses can be somewhat prevented if the other parties involved are "sober" enough to call 911 right away. Sad part is, they are too high or scared to get cops/EMT's involved. If the constitution has to be violated (which it's not if you people claiming it does really get ALL the facts) to save my family members' life, then so be it.
grace March 07, 2013 at 03:49 PM
i agree and maybe an outsider should be running the police dept..a new ideas guy or gal..
lacey gilmore May 12, 2013 at 11:24 PM
hi lacey i love you too have a good summer lacey gilmore

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