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SCVNews.com | Opinion/Commentary: We Need Your Help in This Fight | 03-01-2013
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Message from Mayor Bob Kellar
| Friday, Mar 1, 2013

bobkellar2012I truly love this city and want to make sure your quality of life, your safety and your comfort are well provided for.  That is why it saddens me when I learn about the death of one of our young people as a result of drugs.

Since my days in the LAPD, and now as your mayor, I am continually reminded of the senseless loss of life when I learn about a drug overdose.  While Santa Clarita is not alone in our fight against drugs, I am proud that our city has not buried its head in the sand on this issue, and instead has chosen to band together with law enforcement, education, nonprofits and community members to deal with drug use among young people in a very direct way.

When the issue of heroin use and overdoses among young people was brought up nearly three years ago by a resident who lost a child to a heroin overdose, the city responded with HeroinKills: The High is a Lie, a hard-hitting outreach and education program aimed at stopping people from trying and using heroin.  You can check out the program at www.heroinkills.org.

We reached out to our sheriff’s department, school districts, nonprofit agencies, the county of Los Angeles and community members to make sure our approach and actions were effective. We are pleased with the proactive approach each of these entities took in helping to fight drug use.

Last August, we debuted a new junior and senior high school drug education and prevention program called Drug Free Youth In Town, or DFYIT (pronounced “Defy It.”) To date, we have nearly 1,000 teens signed up from across the Santa Clarita Valley for this innovative program which offers support, education and activities to students in an effort to keep them away from drugs.

One of the most effective aspects of the program is the “student-to-student” approach the program teaches, so that high school students are talking to junior high school students about the perils of drug use.

Our Sheriff’s Capt. Paul Becker and his staff of well-trained deputies are working hard to prevent drug dealers from doing business in our community.  We want to send the message to criminals that Santa Clarita is NOT open for business when it comes to dealing drugs.

The city of Santa Clarita is working diligently with our community partners including the SCV Sheriff, the Hart School District, the county of Los Angeles and various nonprofits and care providers on enforcement and prevention, but we need your help.

As your mayor, I encourage you to be informed and get involved. On March 20, the city is hosting Teen Scene Unplugged, which focuses on teen issues.  In the Fall, the city will once again host Heroin Kills: The High is a Lie. Additionally, the city offers parenting classes teaching what to look for and what to do regarding teen drug use.

As always, I appreciate receiving your comments and suggestions.  Please feel free to email me directly at bkellar@santa-clarita.com.

 

Bob Kellar is mayor of the city of Santa Clarita.

 

 

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