Saturday, October 27, 2012

Darke County Juvenile Court Sponsors its Second Annual Juvenile Justice Issues Seminar at the Greenville Elks Lodge

On October 23, the Darke County Juvenile Court sponsored its second annual Juvenile Justice Issues Seminar at the Greenville Elks Lodge. The seminar was attended by 80 local law enforcement, service providing agencies, and school officials. The topics for the seminar included local drug abuse issues, human trafficking, and school shooters.

Chief Deputy Mark Whittaker of the Darke County Sheriff Department presented on local current trends regarding drug abuse and drug trafficking. Chief Deputy Whittaker outlined how not just street drugs are at risk for abuse but also medications that are found in a lot of medicine cabinets. Chief Deputy Whittaker encouraged the attendees to be work cooperatively within our agencies and schools to find help for those struggling with drugs.

Lisa Norris of Arcanum shared the story of her son, and how he lost his life in a drug related shooting in May 2007. Ms. Norris presented a firsthand account as to the dangers of drug abuse on local families. She talked about the effects of her son’s death and the two different trials that went on before her son’s killer was convicted. Ms. Norris said she still struggles with know whether what she did to help her son was the right thing, but feels Josh’s story shows that drugs can effect families no matter where they live.

Dr. Mark Ensalaco from the University of Dayton presented on the topic of human trafficking and how this leads to other criminal behaviors as a byproduct. Dr. Ensalaco identified how certain segments of the populations may be at more risk to be involved in or a victim of human trafficking. Dr. Ensalaco outlined a number of “red flag” behaviors for all people to be aware of that may indicate a person is being held against their will or having their freedom deprived. Dr. Ensalaco encouraged the seminar attendees to pay attention to their instincts and closely look at situations where one person appears to have a great deal of control over another.

Officer James Burke of the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy (OPOTA) presented the Five Phases of the Active School Shooters as developed by Dan Marcou. Officer Burke showed the attendees how the Columbine and Virginia Tech School shooters left obvious signs as to what they were planning to do and how the signs were missed or misinterpreted by school or university personnel. Officer Burke encouraged the crowd to listen to the students, pay attention to what they say, and to intervene early.
The Darke County Juvenile Court would like to thank all of those that attended the seminar and our presenters.

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