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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor

For Immediate Release
Knoxville Police Begins Community Awareness Campaign

May 7, 2004 - Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Police Chief Phil Keith today announced an aggressive awareness campaign designed to inform the public on the dangers of methamphetamine. The goal of the campaign is to reach every residence in Knoxville.

Chief Keith said methamphetamine and the production of the illegal drug is harming every community throughout the state. Tennessee now accounts for 75 percent of meth in the Southeast United States.

"There is not one community in this state that is immune from the dangers of meth production," said Chief Keith. "Retailers are victims from thefts of items used in the making of the illegal drug. Police departments are arresting numerous individuals on a daily basis. Neighborhoods are in danger from potential explosions during the "cooking" of the drug. But the most harmed are our children," said Chief Keith.

Between January 2002 and July 2003, more than 700 children were placed in state custody as a result of meth allegations. Based on current levels of arrests and discoveries of illegal labs, the number of children placed into state's custody could double during the next year.

Chief Keith said, "With the help of community members, volunteers, the media, and several corporations, the Knoxville Police Department is starting an education awareness campaign for area residents."

Flyers will be distributed through displays, payroll checks, apartment complex offices, and in newspapers. The flyers will spell out the dangers of the drug as well as providing information on how to identify the signs of an illegal lab in your community.

Mayor Haslam said, "This ambitious campaign being conducted by the police department is a huge step in keeping this drug out of our community. It will take the help of all citizens for it to succeed. We thank all the volunteers, the media, as well as our corporate partners in helping to get the word out that we will not tolerate this illegal activity in our neighborhoods."

More than 200,000 flyers will be distributed within the next week.

For More Information Contact:
Darrell DeBusk
Public Information Officer (865) 215-7229

For Immediate Release
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