Security Health Plan invests $1,000 in reducing drug use and addiction
For Hub City Times
MARSHFIELD — “My daughter says she can get her hands on anything at her school if she wanted,” Colby-Abbotsford Police Chief Jason Bauer heard a parent of a Colby-Abbotsford high school student say of the school from which Bauer’s children graduated.
The Colby-Abbotsford Police Department confirmed that heroin, methamphetamine, and prescription drugs are used in the community, and the department is aware of the increase in drug use in its schools.
Over the past six months, the department has rallied the community’s support around establishing a K-9 unit with an accompanying investigator to fill requests of local schools and businesses for K-9 searches, give educational demonstrations, and stop drug use in youth before it becomes addiction.
Security Health Plan donated $1,000 toward the department’s efforts to improve the health of children and communities through its monthly Employee-Driven Corporate Giving campaign.
“One of Security Health Plan’s visions is to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. What a great opportunity for us to address a specific law enforcement need in our community to make it a healthier, safer place to live and work,” said Stephanie Bauer, Security Health Plan business configuration manager and wife of Jason Bauer. Stephanie has actively volunteered for the department’s K-9 unit fundraising efforts and submitted the nomination on its behalf.
The department had a K-9 unit in the past, but it was transferred to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. With the return of the unit anticipated in the spring, the department is assigning Officer Jim Wagner to act as K-9 handler. An assigned investigator will follow up on any arrests made with the help of the K-9.
The donation will go towards the $53,500 needed to fund the K-9, handler training, fully equipping a K-9 squad, and the yearly cost of food and veterinary bills. The department has met its start-up fundraising goal but will continue to request support for the annual $2,500 needed for upkeep of the K-9 and unit equipment.
The program is close to the Bauers’ hearts, whose children attended the Colby-Abbotsford high school when the previous K-9 unit was still in place. Jason remembered the program’s positive impact on one youth who was caught with marijuana and later became a jailer instead of an inmate.
“The long-term impact on our community is huge. If we can stop drug use early, we can prevent addiction and associated health problems, increase productivity of the community’s members, and lower the cost of health care for everyone,” said Jason.