LACEY-RWJBarnabas Health Institute for Prevention (IFP)’s DART Prevention Coalition recently honored local individuals for their significant contributions in substance abuse prevention throughout Ocean County. Awards/Honorees include:
- “Terrence P. Farley Recognition of Excellence Award” for exemplifying passion for substance abuse prevention and leadership in Ocean County. Recipient: Lieutenant Jeffrey Ryan, Barnegat Police Department.
- “Recognition of Service Award” to Retired Chief Robert Lawson, Lakewood Police Department.
- “Training in Intervention Procedures (TIPs) Policy Awards” designed to prevent underage drinking and drunk driving. Recipients: Tuscan Bistro Bar, Toms River; and Tio Juan’s Margaritas, Toms River.
- “Town of Excellence Award” for implementation of comprehensive prevention strategies in partnership with government, school, law enforcement and faith-based groups. Recipient: Lacey Township.
Township officials lauded the efforts of the Lacey Township Municipal Alliance, the department of recreation, the Lacey Township Police Department and the Lacey Township School District.
The IFP named Lacey Township a “Town of Excellence” in its efforts to curtail underage drinking and the use of illegal marijuana, drugs and tobacco, during the DART Prevention Coalition’s Year-End Celebration. Lacey Township was the only Municipality in New Jersey to receive this award in 2016.
The Lacey Township Police Department’s efforts have included but are not limited to the 5x Sticker-Shock program that was presented in all three of our local liquor stores on September 1st, 2016, including Spirits Unlimited, Lacey Liquors, and Jr’s Liquors.
The 5x campaign is premised on the research that kids are 5x more likely to develop an alcohol problem if they start drinking before the age of 15.
“Sticker Shock”, a component of the 5x campaign, is designed to reach adults who might purchase alcohol legally and provide it to minors.
During the Sticker Shock program, bright red stickers warning about the penalties for furnishing alcohol to minors were placed by school students on alcohol products, including beer and wine coolers, which might appeal to underage drinkers.
Additional efforts include Lieutenant Paul Sullivan, Jr., presenting the “Parents who Host Lose the Most” alcohol prevention campaign program during both the Lacey Township High School Freshman Orientation and the Lacey Township Middle School Back to School Night in 2016. The “Parents who Host Lose the Most” program is a public awareness program educating communities and parents about health and safety risks of serving alcohol at teenage parties. The program concentrates on celebratory times for youth, including, but not limited to, homecoming, prom and graduation and other times when underage drinking is prevalent. The program encourages parents and the community to send a unified message that teen alcohol consumption is unhealthy, unsafe and not acceptable.
Furthermore, Lacey Township Police was one of the first police department’s to supply a medicine drop-box in the lobby of police headquarters. The drop-box is used for the proper disposal of unwanted medications, however, does not include liquids or syringes. To date the Lacey Township Police Department has received and disposed of thousands of pounds of unwanted medications and will continue to do so into the future. The program is anonymous and no record will be made of individual identities related to the discarded medications. Residents simply need to respond to the Lacey Township Police Department, enter the main lobby, and drop the medications in the designated drop-box and leave. At no time do you need to check in with the Police Dispatch Center or speak with any officers. The Medicine drop-box is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
In 2017, Lacey Township will continue to focus on the above initiatives. In addition, the Lacey Township Police Department is in the initial stages of providing the “LEADS” program, also known as “Law Enforcement Against Drugs” to the school children of Lacey Township.
“I will continue to bring drug and alcohol prevention and education programs to our community,” said Lacey Township Police Chief Michael DiBella. “In addition, I would like to personally thank the DART Coalition, the Lacey Township Committee, the Lacey Township Board of Education, the Municipal Alliance, the members of the Lacey Township Police Department, and all other assisting agencies, for their support and dedication leading to this award.”