Judge Greg Mohr Says Red Ribbon Week Events are a "Fantastic Idea"
Red Ribbon Week, October 23 - 31 is fast approaching as the Richland County Comes Together Committee rallies businesses and individuals to help them take a stand against drugs in our communities.
The Richland County Schools Assembly will be held at the Sidney High School Tuesday, Oct. 27, with special guest speakers Dr. Gary Dale, former State of Montana Medical Examiner and singer, song writer Kat Perkins from "The Voice" presenting "Dream It, Do It" and singing her hit song 'Fearless'.
A free community meal will be served in the High School cafeteria beginning at 4:30 pm. After that, Dr. Dale will address the community and Perkins will perform a 75 minute concert in the High School gymnasium. The goal of committee is to provide a free concert and an unforgettable event that will impress upon people how dangerous drug use is.
There are few that have the first-hand experience of dealing with drug-related crimes in the area and Justice of the Peace Greg Mohr is one of those few. Mohr has served in his position for more than twenty-nine years and has witnessed the steady increase of drug use and possession in Richland County over the last five to six years. Marijuana and methamphetamines being the most commonly seen, prescription drug abuse and harder drugs such as heroin and cocaine have been on the rise as well. Law Enforcement are seeing more Driving Under the Influence charges in relation to drug usage than ever before.
"If it wasn't for drugs and alcohol, we could lay off half the police department and I'd go fishing. Drug related crime is up exponentially," commented Mohr who explains that drug and alcohol related cases are an uphill battle, often being prolonged when individuals are ordered to go to treatment and then do not attend. They end up back in court and the legal process can be drawn out over months and years costing taxpayers a substantial amount of money. "There were five people in jail this morning and all of them were there because of drug related charges. Sometimes it's surprising who those people are, but there are no social or economic boundaries with this."
When Mohr was approached with the idea of bringing Dr. Dale and Perkins into the area, he said he thought it was a "fantastic idea" and added that information and education is key in drug prevention.
"Both Kat Perkins and Gary Dale have a powerful message and can relay that message in a way people will understand. They talk from their talent and that captivates people. I hope that the kids and their parents will see the long-range consequences of drug use," said Mohr of the upcoming event.
For anyone out there that would like to take a stand against the rising drug problem in the county, donations can be made by texting the word DRUG to 41444 and a message will be sent with a link to complete the donation. Click the link and complete your gift through the secure credit card process. Mailed donations can be sent to Foundation for Community Care, 221 2nd St NW, Sidney, MT, 59270 or Checkers at 223 N Central Ave (P.O. Box 899), Sidney, MT, 59270 with Red Ribbon Week written in the memo space. All donations must be made payable to the Foundation for Community Care and are completely 501c3 tax-deductible and donors will receive a thank you as well as a year-end statement from the Foundation for Community Care.
"For as many people as I see in my court, it makes me wonder how many people are out there and aren't getting caught," Mohr wonders, posing an unsettling question that strikes to close to home for the residents of Richland County.