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TES students ‘back the blue’

Students at Troy Elementary School wore blue on Wednesday to show their support for law enforcement, and Troy police joined in for lunch with the students.

Troy Police Chief Randall Barr said the department is thankful to be invited by the school each year during Red Ribbon Week and that it is important for young children to see police in positive situations.

“We just appreciate them inviting us to come eat and being able to sit down with the children one on one,” Barr said. “It let’s them see us in a different light than in our enforcement role. It’s good just letting them talk to us one on one, to answer their questions up close and personal.”

Red Ribbon Week is recognized each year as a campaign to educate children on the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.

Barr said it is important for that message to be delivered at a young age.

“We want them to give themselves every opportunity to succeed, and drugs and alcohol are not part of that equation,” Barr said. “Kids today are under a lot of pressure – some of them see drug and alcohol abuse in their homes. Sometimes it’s peer pressure from their friends and some of the people they’re around. But there’s a tremendous amount of pressure on kids to try different things. The earlier you can talk to children, in schools or in the home, about the dangers of alcohol and drugs, the better off we are. We want to steer them in the right direction.”

Not only is drug and alcohol abuse illegal in many circumstances, drugs and alcohol are often related to other crimes as well.

“Once you get addicted to drugs or alcohol, you will do things to support that habit that you would not normally do,” Barr said. “Drugs drive a lot of property crimes tha we and other communities have. People who don’t have a job and can’t buy drugs will often do whatever they can to support that addiction.”

Barr said it boils down to making good decisions.

“There’s not an alcohol or drug addict that I’ve met who said they wanted to be that when they grow up,” Barr said. “Life is only as good as the choices we make.”