DEA Omaha Division kicks off Red Ribbon Week on October 23
OMAHA, Neb. –The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Omaha Division kicks off Red Ribbon Week Wednesday, October 23, as agents across the five state division visit schools and provide drug awareness and drug safety education to students from kindergarten through high school. Agents in the Omaha area will visit schools in the Elkhorn, Gretna, Millard, Omaha, Ralston, Springfield Platteview and Sterling school districts.
Red Ribbon Week is the nation’s oldest and largest drug abuse prevention awareness program. Following the murder of DEA Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in 1985, by drug traffickers he was investigating in Mexico, students and teachers across the nation began wearing red ribbons to show their support of Camarena, and raise awareness of the devastating effects drugs have on communities. Today, millions of people celebrate Red Ribbon Week by wearing red ribbons, participating in community anti-drug events and pledging to live drug-free lives.
“In this day and age, when children are flooded with false information about the safety and medicinal value of our number one gateway drug, marijuana, it is more important than ever to get out and educate students on the real dangers that drugs pose to their future,” Special Agent in Charge Richard Salter Jr. said. “Today, law enforcement increasingly finds itself as one of the few shields between our children, and an industry that markets products to them that are designed to steal their future through addiction.”
Omaha Division agents, covering Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota are sending a message of encouragement to live drug free lives while providing information on opioid awareness and discussing topics such as vaping and methamphetamine.
“I applaud every parent, teacher and law enforcement, fire, and medical first responder who takes time to talk to our children and bring awareness to this clear and present threat to our country,” Salter said.
To commemorate the annual event and raise awareness to living a drug-free life, the Woodmen Life Tower in Omaha, Nebraska, will light the building red on October 23.
This year’s Red Ribbon Week theme is, “Send a Message. Stay Drug Free.” Schools are encouraged to participate in Red Ribbon Week activities, including a photo contest where winning schools can receive $1,000. For more information on Red Ribbon Week or the annual photo contest, visit www.redribbon.org.