Elgin_During the Fourth Annual March Against Meth Day in Oklahoma, communities around the state planned activities to show their support on Monday. Every year in Elgin, a march honored an officer who was killed in the line of duty in the ‘War on Drugs.' The march also focuses on the dangers of meth use and its addiction. This march was a tribute in honor of Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Rocky Eales who was killed in the line of duty on September 24, 1999, while trying to serve a search warrant at a residence in rural Sequoya County.
Troopers from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) and officers from the Elgin Police Department, along with Elgin High School students participated to take a stand against the addictive drug, and almost 200 students from the school signed up for the Fourth Annual march. "I know some people who have done meth, and so it's really hard, especially, for the people who are close to them," said student Erica Cox. "I know how bad it hurts people, and that it is really hard to get off, and I would like to prevent it for future kids," said student Megan Magness.
Officers say it's especially important for teens to participate in these marches. "We hope if we catch them early they will be less likely to experiment," said Elgin Police Officer Cindi Tracy. "Meth is not a drug that you can experiment with. It has a 95% first-time user addiction rate."
Student Chad Hagerman says it's an ongoing battle. "Students are just going to have to step up in their lives throughout high school, college and later in life to spread the message that drugs need to be focused on in the state of Oklahoma," he said.
Law enforcement understands the issue more than most. They are the people who put their lives on the line battling drug abuse. "If all agencies and all law enforcement as well as the communities can get involved in it, I think we can make a dent in it like we have," said OHP Trooper Chance Slater. However, they can't do it all on their own. "The community as well as business people they need to get involved to inform us of any type of illegal activity that may take place," said Slater.The marches held on Monday across Oklahoma are Phase II of the Crystal Darkness Campaign focusing on meth education. This is the fourth year Elgin has participated in the walk, and students say it's the biggest one yet. They say they expect it to grow even more in the future.
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