ILIA Attends Police Dept Community Meeting
ILIA attended local police department community meeting on May 7th. ILIA leadership discussed issues related to youth development, drug use and school collaboration with several officers and leadership from the police department youth division services, mental health services and training services departments. Over two dozen representatives from the Howard County Police Department (HCPD) were present, along several non-profits and local residents.
HCPD has been supportive of ILIA’s work in the area of social media risks and opportunities awareness for teens and parents. In Feb ILIA and HCPD jointly offered a unique program on the risks and opportunities of the Internet and social media to over 100 participants in the Muslim community. The event was hosted at the Islamic Community Center of Laurel (ICCL), developed by Islamic Leadership Institute of America and jointly delivered by both ILIA and HCPD.
The meeting on May 7th, 2015 provided ILIA with an update on trends affecting youth in the region. Use of cocaine has recently spiked across the region in particular the Frederick – Baltimore – Anne Arundel line, mostly impacting youth in college and upper high school grades. Marijuana use has also seen increase across teens around the region and in particular with middle and lower high school grades. Recent legislation relaxing penalties of possession of the plant for individuals over 21 in Maryland, DC and other states has been considered to be among the factors leading to more youth justifying its use. Penalties related to use of the drug in Maryland and Virginia are posted below.
Among other topics discussed were mental health issues, curriculum for defiant youth training, and collaboration challenges across various service providers dealing with youth.