Tampa Police Partners with Local Organization and Schools to Keep Teens Off Drugs
Parents Darold and Lynne Knowles shared heartfelt memories about their 23-year-old daughter Jamie who died of a drug overdose. Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins, NOPE Hillsborough Chapter Moderator Beth Butler, and Tampa Police SRO Tom Kohler where among those who attended the presentation at Madison Middle School.
A gymnasium filled with 8th grade Madison Middle School students listened intently as Tampa Police Officer Tom Kohler spoke about the deadly effects of drugs. They were the first group of students this school year to participate in the Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education (NOPE) Task Force presentation. The NOPE chapter of Hillsborough County hosts the compelling presentations annually at middle and high schools along with colleges.
The Tampa Police Department will continue to partner with NOPE and Hillsborough County School officials to spread the important anti-drug message to students throughout the school year. During the presentations, the department’s school resource officers will describe the grim task of making death notifications to distraught families. Parents will also share powerful accounts of how losing a child to drugs has impacted their lives.
NOPE organizers, police officers, and community leaders plan to visit more than 100 schools to deliver the personal and blunt educational presentations. Following most presentations, students seek help either for themselves or someone they know. Counselors are available to assist, and many teachers devote the remainder of the school day to further discussion. A candlelight vigil will take place later this year in memory of those who have lost their lives due to addiction.
For more information about NOPE or to schedule a presentation, please visit http://www.nopetaskforce.org and select Hillsborough County under the Local Chapters tab.