by Dennis Sean Rahe
Loveland Chief of Police
One of the great things about my job is I get the opportunity to visit different communities and talk with a lot of different people. I ask them about their communities and I tell them about Loveland. They frequently ask me what makes Loveland special. My answer is always the same, “Community Partnerships.” Many communities have rivers, walking paths, and a vibrant downtown area. But very few enjoy the dedication to a sense of community shared by so many of our Loveland volunteers.
The Loveland Drug Task Force (LDTF) is one of many community partnerships the LPD family is proud to be a part of. The LDTF was formed several years ago as a collaboration between Loveland City Schools, Loveland Police Department, Loveland Symmes Fire Department, and other community volunteers to reduce drug and alcohol addiction in Loveland. Rather than focus on enforcement, like many drug task forces, the LDTF focuses on education and prevention.
In 2016, LDTF obtained a grant to create a training program called Right Under Your Nose. The goal of the program is to promote early intervention in the cycle of drug addiction by the addict’s family and friends. First, LPD officers showcase a variety of common household items (many of them seized) to help educate our community on how addicts use items for drug use. Many people I spoke with were shocked so many common items could be a warning sign of addiction. The program concludes with a powerful and personal story of [quote_right]The program concludes with a powerful and personal story of loss to addiction.[/quote_right]loss to addiction. Although it was designed for the Loveland community, the LDTF soon received requests for the presentation from many neighboring communities and school districts. My wife and I attended the presentation at Kings High School. Officer Fred Barnes, Kirby Jonas from Loveland City Schools, and many others made the program successful. Kirby said, “Through the Loveland Drug Task Force, we have embedded educational opportunities around the topics of drug and alcohol into our schools and community. Our fall Right Under Your Nose event set a foundation for awareness in the community for the need to work together to instill healthy life choices and positive environments.”
[quote_left]The dedication of the LDTF members continues to amaze me.[/quote_left]The dedication of the LDTF members continues to amaze me. Community members, the Loveland school team, and LPD police officers all volunteered their own time to make this program such a success. It is that dedication, that commitment to the ongoing Loveland community partnerships, that truly makes Loveland special.
Early education, and early intervention, are two critical parts to breaking the addiction cycle. I encourage you to visit starttalking.ohio.gov. and start talking to your kids about drug use. Together can we reduce addiction in our community.