Wednesday, December 6, 2017 (originally featured on www.klewtv.com)
MOSCOW, ID — A national training group is trying to help with better drug enforcement at the local level. Almost 9.5 percent of Idaho residents reported past month usage of drug, according to state profile numbers from the White House.
"This is tragedy that's hitting people in affluent communities, non-affluent communities. 12 to 70 years old. It's hitting everybody and it's impacting everybody," says ex-Idaho police officer Jermaine Galloway.
When he left the force in 2015, Galloway started the training group “Tall Cop Says Stop.
"Every overdose doesn't end in death, but it can cause other harmful things that we see, including domestic violence and other things. A lot of those things tie back into substance abuse.
Tall Cop Says Stop, named after Galloway's massive frame, aims to educate community members on drugs they might not know about. He says everyone knows of marijuana and meth, but many don't know about other drugs.
"Various different types of opioids, a lot of people have heard of heroin, but maybe not the different forms it comes in. Or fentanyl, like I've heard of fentanyl but I don’t totally understand it," says Galloway.
Those drugs, he says, affect more than just the person who takes them.
"You can't even put a number on lives affected, from deaths, to overdoses to injuries to families, to divorces, to both parents incarcerated. You can’t even put a number on that."
One of the most important parts of his seminars, is simply learning what's going on across the nation.
"What's on the streets in Latah county. What's on the streets in Ada county. What's on the streets in New Mexico and New Jersey. What's on the streets everywhere. That's the goal and to help people understand that."
Debi Dockins with the Latah County Youth Advocacy Council is already seeing positive effects of Galloway's program with local teens.
"What we're finding is our kids are educated about it and they're choosing not to do it," she says.