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‘Hidden in Plain Sight’ 75th presentation

5/29/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of Marci Mason
COPLEY/BATH — Developed in 2011 by the Copley and Bath police departments, the “Hidden in Plain Sight” program has expanded beyond its originally intended presentations to the Copley-Fairlawn City and Revere Local school districts.

Word of the innovative concept has spread, resulting in requests for presentations in other areas, according to program officials. On May 15, the 75th “Hidden in Plain Sight” presentation was made in Chagrin Falls. Appearances have been made for school districts and agencies in Cuyahoga, Summit, Wayne, Portage and Stark counties, as well as Mariemont, in the suburban Cincinnati area.

The traveling interactive exhibit presents a display designed to resemble a teenager’s bedroom, with more than 150 items that could be indicative that a young person might be involved in inappropriate behaviors.

At the 2013 DARE Officers International Conference and the 2014 Ohio Crime Prevention Association Conference, police personnel from around the state and the world were trained in how they can start similar programs. Training for foster parents, court personnel and social service agency staff also have been offered.

The program begins with time for the audience to browse and explore the display; a presentation follows. Topics covered include substance abuse, drug paraphernalia, eating disorders, juvenile crime and violence, risky games and challenges and causes of teenage death. The presentation is continually updated to include information on the newest trends and current statistics, according to program officials. Parents are encouraged to discuss these topics and their dangers with young people.

Pictured above, from left, with a newly acquired trailer for “Hidden in Plain Sight” equipment, are the officers and civilian employees of the “Hidden In Plain Sight” team — Detective Paul Webb, of the Copley Police Department (PD); Marcie Mason, youth services worker with Bath and Copley PDs; Officer Sarah Shendy, of the Copley PD; Communications Specialist Lisa Baker, of the Bath PD; and Officer Duane Scott, of the Copley PD.

“Hidden In Plain Sight” is funded in part by donations from the hosting agencies. An application for grant funding through the State Attorney General’s Office has been made.

A current schedule of upcoming presentations can be found on the police department pages at www.bathtownship.org and www.copley.oh.us. For more information, contact Mason at mmason@copley.oh.us or Scott at 330-666-4218.

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