Stephens County observes Red Ribbon Week

This is Red Ribbon week across the Country.

The Red Ribbon Campaign® is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the Nation and a way for people and communities to take a visible stand against drugs.

Sponsored by the National Family Partnership, this year’s theme is, “Your Future is Key, So Stay Drug Free” and students nationwide are encouraged to wear a red ribbon to promote a drug-free lifestyle.

Here in Stephens County, Sheriff Randy Shirley says his department works with students at Stephens County Middle School to promote the dangers of drug abuse.

Since its beginning in 1985, the Red Ribbon campaign has touched the lives of millions of people around the world.

It was begun in response to the murder of DEA Agent Enrique “KiKi” Camarena by a Mexican drug cartel.

Angry parents and youth in communities across the country began wearing Red Ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction cause by illegal drugs in America.

The Sheriff says it is important to begin early to educate children on the dangers of illegal drug use.

Sheriff Shirley said at one time there had also been a Red Ribbon campaign in the Toccoa Housing Authority and he would like to see that resurrected.

Since the Sheriff took office, there has been a concerted effort to rid Stephens County of drug dealers on the part of Toccoa and Stephens County law enforcement.

Sheriff Shirley says that effort continues today.

Sheriff Shirley sits on the U.S. Homeland Security Committee in Washington and he says 80% of the drugs coming into the U.S. come through Mexico.

He said his officers are working hard to bring awareness about the drug abuse problem to students and adults alike through education, training, enforcement and treatment.