Last week the Ravalli County Commissioners approved adoption of a memorandum of understanding with the Ravalli County DUI Task Force and MAPS Media Institute to produce a video designed to help parents keep tabs on their children’s behavior.
The DUI Task Force approved the creation of a Mischief Room last May and the commissioners signed off on it. The project involved the creation of a set of easily accessible items that had secret hiding compartments where someone could stash some drugs or hide a small flask of whiskey. The aim was to provide parents a learning opportunity to see the various ways in which any young person can hide their substance use from casual inspections.
Glenda Wiles, Director of the DUI Task Force, said what she tells parents is, “If you don’t look, then you don’t see. If you don’t see, then you don’t know.” Wiles said that when Covid hit the area, putting a damper on classroom visits in the schools, they began to think of creative ways to keep functioning and getting the message out and the answer was an educational video.
The Task Force will work with MAPS Media Institute to produce the video. She said MAPS was donating $1,200 to the project. Western Montana Mental Health (WMMH) has also donated $1,000 to the project. Wiles said that leaves about $2,000 for purchasing the items to be used in the Mischief Room.
According to Wiles, Sheriff Steve Holton and a deputy sheriff, along with WMMH prevention specialist Ryan Wetzel, have agreed to participate in the video. The video will be posted on a website and the plan is to hold a monthly Zoom meeting at which parents can get direct answers to any questions they have from a member of law enforcement, a mental health specialist and possibly an attorney.
“It’s a pretty inexpensive way to do what we want to do,” said Wiles.