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Conference Will Be First Drug Endangered Children In The Country To Bring Together Representatives Of All Tribes Located In A State
KESHENA - Over the next two days, the Native American Drug and Gang Initiative and the Wisconsin Alliance for Drug Endangered Children will hold a training conference to work toward establishing a Drug Endangered Children (DEC) program in each Native American community located in Wisconsin. The training, which will be held in Keshena at the College of Menominee Nation, will be the first of its kind in the nation to be attended by representatives of each tribe within a state.
The Wisconsin Alliance for Drug Endangered Children is part of a national program addressing the problems children face when their parents or guardians are involved in the use, distribution, or manufacture of drugs. The DEC program uses a multidisciplinary, multiagency approach to developing strategies and response teams to protect children who are in dangerous drug environments. Individual DEC programs are community‑based, and often comprised of groups including law enforcement, child protective service agencies, prosecutors, probation and parole, schools, health providers, and substance abuse treatment providers. Though the Drug Endangered Children programs started with a focus on methamphetamines, DEC training addresses the dangers to children exposed to all drug environments, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and prescription drug abuse.
"Drugs are not simply a problem because their use is criminal," Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said. "They are a problem because their use, sale, and manufacture can have a devastating effect on communities - and along with the user, the population most devastated is often the children who live in the homes where drugs are used, trafficked, or manufactured. These effects on children are universal, whether the location is urban or rural, on tribal lands or elsewhere."
"Law enforcement is often the first to discover a drug endangered child," Van Hollen continued. "But investigating and prosecuting a parent or guardian's drug crime doesn't completely remove a drug endangered child from the harm and adverse effects caused by drug activity in the home. Drug Endangered Children programs unite law enforcement with other agencies and organizations to provide a more comprehensive strategy for protecting these children who are victims."
As a follow-up to this initial training, additional training will be provided by assisting in writing protocols and memorandums of understanding to create a multiagency DEC program. The goal of the Wisconsin Alliance for Drug Endangered Children is to have community-based DEC programs established in each Wisconsin county and for all eleven Wisconsin tribes.
Agencies participating in the Wisconsin Alliance for Drug Endangered Children and sponsoring DEC training include the Wisconsin Department of Justice, the United States Attorney's Office, the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance, the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
For more information about the Wisconsin Alliance for Drug Endangered Children website visit http://www.wisconsindec.org/index.html.
For further information from the tribes participating in the training, contact should be made with the following individuals:
Chief Joe Szwarek, Bad River Police Department, 715-682-7111
Chief Bill Morrow, Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Police, 715-634-8350
Chief Elliott Rising Sun, Lac du Flambeau Police Dept., 715-588-7717
Chief Mark Waukau, Menominee Tribal Police Dept., 715-799-3044
Chief Richard VanBoxtel, Oneida Police Dept., Chairperson of NADGI 920-869-2239
Chief Charles Bresette, Red Cliff Police Dept., 715-779-3733
Chief Frank Taylor, St. Croix Police Dept., 715-349-8638
Dir. of Public Safety, Michael Micik, Stockbridge-Munsee Police Dept., 715-793-4809
Director Sonya Milham, Forest County Potawatomi, 715-478-4816
Director Valerie Blackdeer, Ho-Chunk Nation, 715-284-2622
Director Angela Ring, Sokaogon Chippewa, 715-478-2520