Los Angeles Clergy Join Forces with Sheriff’s Department to Fight Drug Abuse and Addiction
Citing link between drugs and crime, Sheriff Lee Baca spearheads initiative for L.A. County clergy to train as drug prevention specialists.
Sheriff Lee Baca has given religious leaders in Los Angeles a mandate to bring the truth about drugs to their communities.
On June 9, 2011, Sheriff Baca officiated at a unique graduation ceremony. He acknowledged over 100 members of the clergy with Drug-Free World Prevention Specialist Certificates bearing his signature and the seal of L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.
To attack the problem of drug abuse and addiction at a grassroots level, in May 2011 Sheriff Baca urged members of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Multi-Faith Executive Clergy Council to learn and use the Truth About Drugs program of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, and offered his Monterey Park headquarters for the training sessions.
Clergy Council member Bob Adams, Vice President of the Church of Scientology International, and Bishop Edward Turner, Pastor and Founder of Power of Love Christian Fellowship and a special assistant to Sheriff Baca, helped coordinate the training.
At one of the training sessions, Sergeant Mark Cripe, who supervises the VIDA (Vital Intervention and Directional Alternatives) program for at-risk youth, explained why he embraced the Truth About Drugs program.
“Everything in the Truth About Drugs curriculum is pure gold,” he said. “There is no message about drug abuse that is more penetrating than what this program provides. We can’t top it.”
The extensive training activity was consistent with the mission of the Sheriff’s Clergy Council: “To assist and support the community, in collaboration with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, and to intercede with spiritual guidance in crisis situations.”
Clergy Council members are all too aware of the crisis drug abuse and addiction causes in their communities, as drug-related crime and substance abuse impact the lives and livelihoods of families throughout Southern California.
With over 100 clergy now certified as Drug-Free World Prevention Specialists, at-risk youth can not only find the spiritual guidance they need at their local churches, mosques and synagogues, they can also learn the truth about drugs.
The Foundation for a Drug-Free World, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Los Angeles, California, is dedicated to the eradication of drug abuse through education.
The publications of the Foundation include The Truth About Drugs series of 13 educational booklets, educator’s guide, 16 public service announcements, and the award-winning 90-minute documentary Real People—Real Stories.