Law enforcement officers in Barbados continue to intensify their fight against illegal drugs.
Speaking this morning at the closing ceremony for the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) four–day training course at the Regional Police Training Centre, the representative for the United States based Drug Enforcement Agency reaffirmed the body’s commitment to assisting Barbados in this battle.
Country attaché for the US DEA, Timothy Williams, told the graduates joined by Assistant Commissioner Oral Williams, his office was willing and would be glad to assist the island in which ever way they could. And he noted that the fight against drugs was not only through enforcement but they seek to reduce its demand.
Today, 11 persons graduated from the new DARE Keeping It Real programme. They included one Antiguan and Barbudan officer Timothy Drew. The graduates ranged from constables to station sergeants.
Over the series of training the participants were exposed to the new DARE curriculum and they were provided with the necessary skills and competencies to teach the new curriculum in both primary and secondary schools. Since first being introduced to the Caribbean in 1996, the DARE curriculum has evolved over the years to meet the changing demands associated with drug use among children. In this regard the workshop facilited the process where the officers could provide children with the most modern and comprehensive prevention and decision making abilities that would asset them in developing the necessary skills to make safe and responsible choices, DARE representative Leonard Moudy said.
Williams further urged the participants that when they went back to their normal duties not to forget what was taught but instead be energized to implement and spread the knowledge to counterparts.
“I submit to you, take your training serious, be proud that you are sitting here . . . to go through this training and that you can go back and give to the youth of Barbados. Think back 20, 30 years ago when you were sitting in school as a young woman or young man, maybe it would have been great for someone to come and impart some knowledge on you about how dangerous it is to use drugs or get caught up with individuals that traffic drugs because it only leads to a life of destruction. I honestly believe that one of the most important keys to success is reaching our youths. I ask you not to walk out of here today and take everything that you have learned from the past week and shelf it . . . you have to take these skills and you need to put them to use,” he said as he stated that crimes such as robbery, burglary, domestic violence and murder all stem from drugs.
“There is nothing more important than reaching the youths in our neighborhoods, community and schools because I submit to you, if we can get to them early and we can convince them that the use of drugs, getting involved in a gang or trafficking drugs on the oceans bringing them into other islands. If we can get to them and give them the knowledge and make them understand how dangerous it is, they will not be dealing with you or I in the future. They will grow up to be successful citizens [and] will be able to give back to their country instead of sitting behind bars wasting away,” Williams added.