Friday, February 24, 2012

Law Enforcement Training

The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition will be hosting a FREE training opportunity for all law enforcement officers related to alcohol enforcement efforts on March 23rd.

The trainer for the event is Travis Bruyer of the Flathead County Alcohol Enforcement Team.

Mr. Bruyer was assigned to the Detective Division of the Flathead Valley Montana Sheriffs Department in 2005, as the Alcohol Enforcement Team Coordinator (AET). At that time, the Flathead Valley claimed one of the highest youth underage drinking rates in the United States. Establishing a model Alcohol Enforcement Team, the Flathead County Alcohol Enforcement Team began an all out assault on illegal alcohol use. Utilizing the most successful environmental and legal strategies, and working in conjunction with the Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center. The program has become widely viewed as a nationwide community model.

Since 2005, the Flathead County Alcohol Enforcement Team has received national recognition for its efforts in addressing the issue of underage drinking, by the Office of Juvenile Justice, the Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center, and the American Council on Criminal Justice Training. The AET increased the Flathead Valley’s Compliance Rate from 40% - 70% within the first year of implementation. Nearly four thousand underage drinking arrests have been made since the inception of the Flathead AET.

Travis is responsible for helping communities establish law enforcement priorities to fight underage drinking and to establish community Alcohol Enforcement Teams (AET).

Training topics will include:
*Alcohol Enforcement Policies and Procedures
* Alcohol Enforcement Strategies (shoulder taps, compliance checks, controlled party dispersal)
* Multi-jurisdictional alcohol enforcement concept
This training is open to anyone in Iowa who works with youth to prevent underage drinking. Intended audience includes: Law Enforcement, State Patrol, Judges, Attorneys, DNR officers, Coalition Members, School Personnel, and School Resource Officers.

DATE: Friday, March 23rd
TIME: 8:00 am – 12:00 noon
LOCATION: Roberts Memorial Center- Keosauqua, IA

Registration is required for this event as lunch will be provided. For more information or to register for the training, please contact the SAFE Coalition via email at: or by phone at 319-293-6412

Friday, February 17, 2012

Local Van Buren Student Chosen for the Youth Executive Council of I-STEP

Congratulations to Drew Nolting for being selected by the Iowa Students for Tobacco Education and Prevention (I-STEP) to be a member of their executive council. Drew is 15 years old, lives in Keosauqua and is currently a sophomore at Van Buren Community High School. Drew has been a member of the Van Buren County Youth Leadership Council (YLC) for three years.

As a member of the I-STEP Executive Council he hopes to learn about all of the new products to help spread the word about drug, tobacco and alcohol prevention in the Van Buren County area. His favorite YLC activity is Sticker Shock because the YLC group is able to get the message out about not providing alcohol to minors to a large group of people.

Drew is also involved in Cross Country, Basketball, Golf, Baseball, Band, Chorus, the Leo Club and the Spanish Club. Drew’s hero is his dad because his dad pushes him to be a better person. When Drew is an adult he would like to do something with meteorology.

The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition was notified in June 2011 that Drew was going to be a part of the Youth Executive Council. He has already attended several meetings and is beginning to work with the I-STEP program.

For more information on the I-STEP Youth Executive Council or the YLC program feel free to contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

New Website/Resource

Marijuana is a topic of significant public discourse in the United States, and while many are familiar with the discussions, it is not always easy to find the latest, research-based information on marijuana to answer to the common questions about its health effects, or the differences between Federal and state laws concerning the drug. Confusing messages being presented by popular culture, media, proponents of “medical” marijuana, and political campaigns to legalize all marijuana use perpetuate the false notion that marijuana is harmless. This significantly diminishes efforts to keep our young people drug free and hampers the struggle of those recovering from addiction.

The Administration steadfastly opposes legalization of marijuana and other drugs. Legalization would increase the availability and use of illicit drugs, and pose significant health and safety risks to all Americans, particularly young people. In support of this position, ONDCP has created a Web-based resource center that provides the general public, community leaders, and other interested people with the facts, knowledge, and tools to better understand and address marijuana in their communities. This resource center will be regularly updated and expanded to address emerging issues, research, and prevention tools, and highlight successful local efforts to reduce marijuana use.

Please follow the link below to access this resource center:

Thank you for your ongoing efforts to reduce drug use and its consequences across the country.

Friday, February 10, 2012

What We Learned in Washington DC

By Faith Murphy and Emily Jester

Attending the CADCA Forum in Washington DC was a great experience for us. We learned so many useful things, meet a lot of great people, and had life changing experiences.

CADCA’s National Leadership Forum is a 4-day conference packed with multiple opportunities to learn the latest strategies to fight substance abuse and hear from nationally-known experts and policymakers. The Forum brings together more than 2,500 participants representing community anti-drug coalitions from all regions of the country, government leaders, youth, addiction treatment professionals, researchers, educators, law enforcement professionals and faith-based leaders.

We were taught how to analyze the problems in our community utilizing the strategic prevention framework. We then developed interventions to address the problem. We intend to share this information with our coalition and encourage them to implement some of the environmental strategies developed. We hope these ideas can be used to make a change in our community.

One day of the conference was dedicated to meeting with our elected officials on Capitol Hill. We had the opportunity to meet with Senator Harkin at a congressional breakfast. We shared personal stories about what prevention programs mean to us and their importance and impact in our community. We then attended a congressional reception honoring senator Grassley. He spoke highly of the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition and the success they have seen from the DFC program. In the afternoon we met with Congressman Loebsack. We encouraged him to support prevention efforts and were later notified he co-signed the STOP act reauthorization. Having the opportunity to meet these elected officials was a great experience and taught us about advocating for change.

Along with the NYLI and advocacy work we did we also met a lot of other teens passionate for safe communities from across the United States. We shared stories and examples that made us realize we aren’t alone in this fight. We will continue our prevention work with the support of new friends and the SAFE coalition.

The experience we had at CADCA is one we won't soon forget. We look forward to implementing these strategies into our community in the near future. Thank you to the Van Buren County Safe Coalition for all the work you put into sending us.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Youth attend Day on the Hill

On Monday, January 30th seven Van Buren Youth Leadership Council (YLC) members attended Day on the Hill in Des Moines. This event is held for students to take part in advocacy at the capitol. The students are given the opportunity to speak to elected officials about changes you want to see in your state as well as be a part of a press conference to advocate for change.

Students attending from Van Buren County included; Abby Rider, Marissa Greenfield, Noah Whitten, Mary Barta, Jacinta Wenke, Brooke Dunkin and Isabelle Neeley. The students provided Representative Curt Hanson with information on underage drinking in Van Buren County. They stressed to him the importance of youth access to alcohol and ways in which the access can be reduced. Social Host was discussed as an option as this has recently been introduced at the state level. Social Host is a law that holds the property owner accountable if there is an underage party held on their property and they are aware of it.

The students were also a part of an underage drinking awareness press conference that first lady Chris Branstad also took part in. The press conference included a variety of speakers from youth to prevention specialist to law enforcement all advocating for changes that will support reducing youth access to alcohol.

The students learned a great deal about the legislative process and were able to use their public speaking skills as a part of this event. Students are selected to attend this event based on involvement in the YLC organization and applications submitted to attend.

For more information on this event or any Youth Leadership Council activities please feel free to contact the SAFE Coalition office at 319-293-6412.