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Operation Street Smart to Provide Advice to Teachers, Health Professionals and Youth Leaders

Dayton, Ohio — Not all drug deals are taking place in dark alleys late at night. In fact it might surprise you to know that deals are happening in the hallways and school yards of our schools. The buyers and sellers are not adults but rather teens, and students even younger, who live in middle class neighborhoods, cheer for their football team and who like to go shopping at the mall on weekends. Illegal drug activity among our youth continues to be a battle to be fought in almost every community across America and communities in our area are not exempt.

"Despite the fact teen drug use is down slightly, we must continue to pay attention to the problem," says Shaun Hamilton, manager of Miami Valley Hospital's Injury Prevention Center. "That is why it is so important for any adult, who personally or professionally comes into contact with youth, to continue to be educated about teens and drugs and that is why we are teaming up with the Franklin County Sheriff's Department to bring information to Dayton about this topic."

The program of which Hamilton is speaking is Operation Street Smart, a four-hour informative presentation presented by three undercover officers employed by the Franklin County Sheriff's Department. The program will take place Friday, October 13, on the campus of Sinclair Community College, Building 12, in the Fredrick C. Smith Auditorium.

The officers have each spent time as undercover detectives fighting the war against drugs. Each will give the audience a riveting account of today's youth drug scene. The first two-hour presentation gets underway at 10 a.m. The afternoon session begins at 12:45 p.m. and continues until 2:45 p.m.

Participants will leave armed with vital information on drug trends, terminology, paraphernalia and physiological effects. The officers also will "escort" examples of designer street drugs through the audience for a hands-on opportunity to learn how to identify them. So-called traditional drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, crack, heroin and methamphetamines will be covered as well as the increased use of date rape drugs, steroids and prescription medications.

Sgt. Michael Powell, a 32-year law enforcement veteran who has spent most of his career working with the Special Investigation Unit, will be available for media interviews starting at 12:45 p.m.

Besides support from Miami Valley Hospital, Operation Street Smart is able to be presented with the cooperation of Dayton Public Schools and Brighter Futures.