To address this planetary ruin on a global scale, the IAS grants support the single most embracive anti-drug program on Earth.
The centerpiece of the campaign is the 13 Truth About Drugs booklets that present facts and figures on the most commonly used drugs, including marijuana, alcohol, Ecstasy, cocaine, crack, crystal meth, inhalants, heroin, LSD, prescription drugs and painkillers.
The campaign also includes The Truth About Drugs documentary, featuring testimony from those who lived to tell their story and which, in combination with the booklets and PSAs, form the backbone of the curriculum in the educator’s guide.
With grants from the IAS, information kits are strategically mailed and made available online at no charge to those who meet the drug problem head-on, such as health teachers, school guidance counselors, and law enforcement officers involved in drug and crime prevention programs.
To reinforce and flank these actions, Truth About Drugs PSAs air broadly to counter the false mythology of drugs. These hip and street-smart videos are aimed directly at youth and have unprecedented success in grabbing their attention and conveying the dangers of drugs. In this way the program simultaneously educates in homes, classrooms, on the streets
and across communities, city by city, nation by nation, until this world is indeed drug free.
Los Angeles County
Los Angeles is well known as the gang capital of the United States, with some 150,000 gang members reputedly responsible for 40 percent of all homicides in Los Angeles County.
Given such figures, and the undeniable cause-and-effect relationship between drug abuse and crime rates, it is vital to empower those who battle daily with criminal behavior with the effective tools to reduce drug abuse. We now bring the tools to the well-deserving law enforcement officers of Los Angeles through an unprecedented multi-agency partnership.
The two leading law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles are the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and the Los Angeles County Sheriff ‘s Department (LASD). Both agencies independently came on board for our Truth About Drugs campaign at the world premiere of the They Said/They Lied Public Service Announcements in November 2008.
The LAPD covers law enforcement tor Los Angeles City proper. With just under 10,000 officers and 3,000 administrative staff, it is the third largest local law enforcement agency in the United States. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is the largest sheriff’s department in the world, with over 8,400 deputies and a total of 16,000 employees responsible for law enforcement in 68 cities and towns in Los Angeles County, including Inglewood, Compton and East Los Angeles.
The LAPD started funneling the Truth About Drugs booklets by the thousands through LAPD stations all across the city.
Multiple joint community activities are held throughout the year in collaboration with the LAPD, to carry the Truth About Drugs message across ethnic and cultural boundaries in a metropolis that is a melting pot of hundreds of languages and ethnic groups.
One such community event is the “National Night Out,” an annual initiative that fosters crime prevention activities to create safer neighborhoods
through police and community partnerships. At a National Night Out event staged at the LA Model Ideal Org, LAPD officers signed the Drug-Free
Other crime prevention fairs and LAPD open houses followed, with drug-prevention booths and handouts of the Truth About Drugs booklets. Police cadets swore in dozens of children at a time as Drug-Free Marshals, as well as swearing in members of the Los Angeles City Council.
The Commanding Officer of the busiest police station in Los Angeles described the value of the Truth About Drugs program in his precinct with these words: “The educational pamphlets and videos produced by this program have been invaluable in educating the community on the negative repercussions that illegal drugs have on society…. I cannot tell you how important I think a program like this is for this community. The 77′” Street area is committed to our partnership with the Truth About Drugs program.” Dennis H. Kato, Commanding Officer, 77th Street Community Police Station, LAPD
In 2008, the Sheriff of Los Angeles County approved training on the Truth. About Drugs program for his deputies who work with at-risk youth. One of these operates in eight locations
and all now use the campaign materials. Since introducing the Truth About Drugs campaign, over 2,000 at-risk youth have completed the program. A sergeant from the Sheriff’s Department who uses the materials daily in his work with at-risk youth describes the Truth About Drugs program in these terms:
“Everything in the Truth About Drugs curriculum is pure gold. There is no message about drug abuse that is more penetrating than what this program provides—we can’t top it.”
Twenty-five deputies involved in another Sheriff youth program trained up to deliver the Truth About Drugs program. With the success of these actions, another 16 deputies got trained on the program and others now are requesting to be trained.
The Drug-Free World team collaborates with the Sheriff’s Department on many drug awareness events throughout the year, such as annual anti-drug races which draw thousands of runners who receive Truth About Drugs booklets.
In April 2011, Sheriff Baca went even further, directing members of his Sheriff’s Multi-Faith Clergy Council to get trained on the Truth About Drugs program, encouraging them to bring the program to their congregations and neighborhoods, many of which are drug infested. These clergy—who span the wide diversity of faiths represented in the Greater Los Angeles Area, including Jews, Muslims, Christians and Sikhs—minister to hundreds of thousands and serve as a consulting interfaith body to the Sheriff’s Department.
In accord with Sheriff Baca’s mandate, a four-week training program was conducted at the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department headquarters between May and June of 2011, with more than 100 clergy trained on the Truth About Drugs program to bring it to their communities. On graduation day, Sheriff Baca personally addressed them and presented the graduates with a Drug-Free World Drug Education Specialist certificate bearing the seal and signature of the Los Angeles County Sheriff.
Widespread implementation of the Truth About Drugs program in Los Angeles County, with the backing of the law enforcement community, is creating an impact. In Sheriff Baca’s words:
“The drug prevention campaign supported by the Church of Scientology, and its members, is very important to me in accomplishing my goal of a safer Los Angeles County. Crime is a problem that has many contributing factors. In fact, it is a much larger and more complex problem than a badge and a weapon or warrant can solve. We have to rely on community institutions to help us, and especially churches as the very soul of any community. This is especially important.
“Los Angeles County has 11 million people of almost every ethnicity on Earth. However, while the diversity has created an example of global unity, it has also led to tension and violence. Shortly after I took office in 1998, I formed the Multi-Faith Clergy Council to help me bring communities together to reduce violence and crime. The Church of Scientology was there at the first meeting and has been a vital partner ever since.
“The church was instrumental in bringing peace between rival gangs, and in keeping the peace in times of ethnic and religious conflict. Even well beyond the Clergy Council, the church has been consistently reliable in helping me to achieve my goal of a safer Los Angeles County.
“The Truth About Drugs education program that the church supports means everything to the safety of our schools and neighborhoods. It is a tremendously successful program, worldwide, and particularly needed. This is why we have trained a corps of our own officers in the use of this unparalleled program. I have called upon our Multi-Faith Clergy Council members to avail themselves of this program, and to use it to educate their communities and help law enforcement cut down on dangerous drug usage, and hence, the impact of the drug culture upon the citizens of this county.
“This joint venture between law enforcement, the clergy and community partners, acting together to educate our youth, is one of the most important initiatives I could ever undertake as Sheriff of Los Angeles County.
“I want to thank you for everything you do in helping me do my job because today crime in Los Angeles is at its lowest in 40 years. I am proud of our longstanding partnership in making Los Angeles County a safer place for everyone. “Sincerely, LEROY D. BACA, SHERIFF”1, 2
- Impact 127, pp. 36, 46-51) (2011) PDF format. ↩
- From Los Angeles Times (2019-02-19) Ex-Sheriff Baca loses appeal, faces prison: “An appeals court upheld the conviction of former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca on Monday, clearing the way for the once powerful but now ailing law enforcement figure to spend years in prison for obstructing justice and lying to federal authorities. Baca, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, faces a three-year prison sentence after a jury found he helped orchestrate a scheme to interfere with an FBI investigation into abuses in county jails and later lied to prosecutors about his role.” ↩