Our Chamber of Commerce combines with two others in the county to run a 10 month long annual "Leadership" class where we tour various places, institutions around the county in an effort to provide our students with a detailed understanding of the various things going on in our county. Yesterday was "Criminal Justice, and Safety Services" day. We spent the first two and a half hours at the Sheriff's office listening to our Sheriff describe their operations, touring the jail, etc.
His drug task force commander came in and talked about their latest efforts, the first ever take down of a meth lab in our small rural county (happened over this past weekend), and how he works with informants to bust the drug dealers that are selling to our kids. I was moved by some of what he shared, and by how passionate our county law enforcement is when it comes to protecting our kids. It made me proud to hear how this commander worked with his informants to bust the out of two suppliers, how they work with all the schools to keep an eye on at risk kids, how he does everything he can to get help for the addicts he runs across in his daily work. I pulled him aside after the presentation and offered to be available if he ever had any men who really want to get sober and needed someone to talk to. I felt moved to be a part of the solution, after having a part of the problem (albeit in a different part of the state) for so many years.
I used to volunteer down at the county jail on Saturday mornings for over 10 years. Now someone else is running with that and I have changed scenery. But, it was good to see some of the friends I'd made over the years coming down there to help the guys inside. We spent awhile with the judge who handles all of the juvenile and domestic relations cases and when asked what the "biggest problem" he saw in families today, he said that drug and alcohol abuse was at the root of alot of the problems that come before him on a daily basis. And again, his focus is on not just serving jsutice, but getting people the help they need. The whole day was wonderful, from Common Pleas to Muncipal Court judges, you name it. I am blessed to live in a well served, well protected county for sure, but I am so proud that they see the problem as one that can also be helped by intervention and recovery while at the same time serving justice.