Drug Free Coalition touting teen tip lines

Published 3:01 pm Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Shelby County organization is partnering with county schools and law enforcement officials to crack down on teen drinking and drug abuse.

The Shelby County Drug Free Coalition is seeking to publicize existing county drug and alcohol tip lines to combat illegal teen behavior and adults who sanction it.

“Many people within the coalition didn’t realize that there were already tip lines available through the sheriff’s office and schools,” said Carol Williams, the coalition’s project coordinator. “The coalition then partnered (with the schools and sheriff’s office) to promote those available resources more thoroughly.”

Coalition members are encouraging anyone in the county who suspects illegal activity involving teens to call the tip line and report the activity to school or Shelby County Sheriff’s Office officials.

“The project started earlier this year when coalition members wanted to find a way to allow people to report suspicious activities, specifically about underage drinking parties that adults may be hosting,” Williams said. “The purpose of this project is to increase reporting of suspicious – possibly illegal drug or underage drinking-related – activities in the community.”

“We feel that every person in Shelby County has a voice and needs to know that if they are concerned about activities going on in their neighborhood or in the schools, they can let the proper authorities know,” Williams added.

To publicize the tip lines, coalition officials have distributed posters, activity report cards and wallet cards displaying the phone numbers to every middle and high school in Shelby County. The organization also has distributed the literature to libraries and senior centers throughout the county.

To report suspicious teen-related activity, call Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Ken Burchfield at 669-4181, Shelby County Schools’ Student Services Coordinator Donna Dickson at 682-7046 or the Alabama Safe Schools Hotline at 1-888-SAV-KIDS.

Callers will remain anonymous, and do not have to reveal their name or phone number.