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"President's Message"
by Wayne J. Canastra


       When we hear about narcotics news in New Jersey, often the first thing that is talked about is when Marijuana will be legal. The focus has become legalization of a drug that is widely considered a gateway drug. I am not writing this to spark a debate on the legalization issue. As most of our members know that the NJNEOA is strongly opposed to the legalization of recreational marijuana use. I am writing this to ask why we do not hear about the enormous over dose deaths from our communities and what law makers intend to do about the problem. We have all see the commercials especially around an election time about the opioid problem. But we just don’t talk about it the way we should. We as a community hide from the problem instead of hitting it head on. Instead of having conversations around our youth on if a drug should become legal, we should be having conversations about the people that are killed by this addiction. I would love to see the “Say No To Drugs” commercials make a comeback. Let’s start talking about the teenager who overdosed and died instead of pretending it was from something else. Drugs are not ok, and they are not the answer and that education needs to start at a very young age. Moving forward as an association and what we stand for, I want to continue to educate the public about the dangers of all drug, especially opioids. We recently just had our first community forum and we are trying to build from that to continue spreading our Drug Awareness Program.

TAs far as proactive enforcement, I know every County approach to Overdose Deaths are a little different. I want to encourage our members to please email me and let me know how your Agency or County handles an Overdose Death Investigation. I am interested to see how many Strict Liability charges were authorized in the 2018 year and the outcome of the cases. In the future, I want to include that in the President’s Message and consider hosting a Strict Liability Investigation Training.

On January 23, 2019, the NJNEOA will present “A Look at Addiction for Law Enforcement” at the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Training Center in Edison. This training is back by popular demand. Please sign up early as this will be completely full.

On February 19, 2019, the NJNEOA will provide “Clandestine Laboratories and Manufactured Drug Awareness” seminar at the Middlesex County Fire Academy in Sayreville. This is the NJNEOA February Narcotic Training Seminar which is being co-hosted along with MAGLOCLEN and the New Jersey County Narcotic Commander’s Association, presented by DSG Pakorn Patimetha of the New Jersey Police Hazardous Material Response Unit.

The NJNEOA will host Basic “Tactical Narcotics Training” Class #4 at the Middlesex County Fire Academy from March 4 – March 8, 2019. This class is limited to 40 registrants and attendees must be present all 5 days to receive a certificate.

To all our members, best wishes for the New Year. I look forward to seeing at our next trainings.

I encourage anyone that wants to be involved, provide feedback or to suggest a training to contact me directly on my cell phone at 732-585-8436 or email me at president@njneoa.org.


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