Neighbors take stand against crime, drugs - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Neighbors take stand against crime, drugs

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August 3, 2004

Albany- The Albany-Dougherty Drug Agents may have had the most popular booth at Tuesday night's block party.

"It looks like a cigarette, but it's really a glass pipe," said Lt. Jessie Smith, dropping the pipe on the table in front of about 15 neighborhood kids on West Society Avenue.

"Will it mess you up?" asked one young boy pointing to dime sacks of marijuana.

"It will mess you up," Smith said.

That's the hard truth about drugs. And there's nobody better to give kids the information than a drug agent.

"A lot of these drugs we find on the street corners," Smith said.

That's the hard truth about how easy it is for kids to find drugs. But at National Night Out, they get a chance to see up close everything from opium to oxycodone.

"We want to come out here and show the kids exactly what it looks like, so that if they run across it they want touch it."

After all, National Night Out is about keeping crime and drugs out of neighborhoods.

"We offer them a friendship," said Danita Wiggins, with Albany Housing Authority, who plans the event for the neighborhood. "We offer them that they can always come to us with things that they need."

It's a way for neighbors to get together and get to know each other with the help of cotton candy, clowns, K-9 dogs and the officers who go with them.

"A lot of the times it's negative contact and this gives an opportunity to see that we're just like they are. We laugh and we cut up and we like to have fun too."

Like having fun with a lesson that could one day save their lives.

posted at 10:32 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com