Local groups raise awareness for safety during spring break

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By Will Underhill

The district department of public safety teamed up with other community organizations to educate students on the potential dangers of spring break Tuesday in the Fiesta Room of Loftin.
“The police department organized this event to give students information before spring break which will hopefully save a life or prevent students from becoming victims,” Sgt. Ben Peña said.
Organizations that set up tables include San Antonio Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, the San Antonio Police Department, Circles of San Antonio Community Coalition, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the Rape Crisis Center and Peer Educators counseling at this college.
Danielle Hernandez, liberal arts sophomore, works for Peer Educators through work-study and helped at the table.
“I’m helping students be aware of things they wouldn’t otherwise be aware of,” Hernandez said. “I also like promoting healthy lifestyles.”
The council is a nonprofit organization that focuses on substance abuse, such as drugs and alcohol, and mental health counseling. During the event, the council recruited seven volunteers for their organization from passing students.
It is in the process of transforming programs used for high schools into college activities.
One example would be a Dodging Alcohol dodge ball competition at Reagan High School.
The SAPD table was a buffet of illegal substances recovered by undercover narcotics agents.
Among the drugs displayed were marijuana, LSD, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines that looked like pink heart Valentine candy.
“It’s all the same; it just depends on what part of town you find them,” the narcotics officer at the table said. “It’s territorial, but for the most part it’s all over the place.”
The officer had several examples of how drugs can be hidden in unsuspecting places, such as a spray can of WD-40 that has a removable bottom that reveals a secret hiding place.
The Rape Crisis Center is another nonprofit organization looking for student volunteers.
The center provides sexual assault counseling and services to survivors and families of sexual assault.
They also have a 24-hour hotline for questions, references and help.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving also were out to educate students about the services it offers and its youth education programs about drinking and driving.
They were promoting the Strides for Change 5K walk/run at 8:30 a.m. May 3 in McAllister Park.
The walk will raise funds for MADD’s programs and support services. For more information, call the local chapter at 349-0200.


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