Schools look for new tool to fight substance abuse

Leader Reporter

Schools in Shawano County may soon have a new tool to help keep them safe and free of drugs and alcohol.

Earlier this month the Shawano County Law Enforcement Committee unanimously passed a motion in support of the program called Quick 50. Now area schools are being asked to be involved.

According to Shawano County Sheriff's deputy and school liaison officer Tom Tuma, the focus of Quick 50 is to keep drugs, alcohol and weapons off school campuses and to provide students with an easy, accessible and confidential way to report dangerous or anti-social behavior. The program encourages students and faculty to report the presence of alcohol, drugs or weapons in the schools.

Some schools have already shown interest, according to Tuma.

"The Bonduel School District in November of 1999 passed a unanimous motion in support of the program," said Tuma. "We are hoping to present Quick 50 to the various school boards within the next month. Sheriff (Bob) Schmidt is hoping for 100-percent participation in our schools."

"If a school district chooses to participate in the Quick 50 program the staff and students will learn about it through posters, newsletters and by word of mouth," added Tuma. "Then it's up to them."

When a person calls in with a tip they are assigned a code number and instructed to call back to see if they are eligible for a reward. The code number is given so the identity of the person reporting the tip can remain confidential.

According to Tuma, once the tip is received the information is investigated to determine its validity. If the school takes disciplinary action or law enforcement action is taken, the reporting party may then be eligible for a reward..

If and when the reporting party becomes eligible for a reward arrangements will be made for its delivery. Tuma says all requests for payment, within reason, will be attempted.

Any information about drugs, alcohol and dangerous weapons on school grounds is eligible for a reward. As is information that leads to the arrest of any person for any crime anywhere.

Information that is not eligible for a reward includes information about tobacco products on school grounds and about an incident which is not criminal in nature, that includes ordinance violations and forfeitures.

School districts become eligible to participate in Quick 50 when they pass a motion of support for the program and provide minutes of that board meeting to Shawano County.

The money for the program will come from the Shawano County Crime Prevention Fund.

According to Tuma, the Quick 50 program appears to be a spin-off of the traditional Crime Stoppers program seen on television. The program is currently operating in other central Wisconsin counties such as Portage and Waupaca.

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By Joe Vandel
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