Parent drug education workshop in Tualatin will feature award-winning officer from Idaho

An Idaho police officer who's known widely for his presentations on teen drug and alcohol use will be coming to Tualatin to give a free workshop for parents and educators.

Officer Jermaine Galloway has worked in law enforcement since 1997 and received Mothers Against Drunk Driving's 2010 Mickey Sadoff Underage Drinking Awardfor his work to prevent underage drinking in Boise.

Galloway said Monday that his presentations, which he calls "Tall Cop Says Stop" - he's 6 foot 9 - focus on helping adults understand trends among today's youth when it comes to underage drinking, drugs, drug concentrates and designer drugs.

He'll also have a simulation of a teenager's room that he'll use to show parents what to look for. For example, "there might be a little bracelet sitting there and the term 'molly' in it," which is slang for the drug most commonly known as ecstasy, Galloway said. That bracelet might raise questions such as where and how the teen obtained it and why he or she has it.

"Just because your kid has a bracelet for molly doesn't mean they're automatically using drugs," Galloway said. "Maybe somebody's identifying with drug culture, maybe they're using molly, maybe they just like the way the bracelet looks, maybe they used molly one time. ... That should still start a conversation for you."

Galloway, who has four children himself, ranging in age from infancy to 14 years old, added that he's seen a lot of parents who don't know how to start conversations about drug or alcohol use or who don't know the importance of having such conversations.

"If you're not talking to your child, someone else is," he said.

Galloway's presentation runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, in the auditorium at Tualatin High School, 22300 S.W. Boones Ferry Road. Child care will be available for children up to age 6; there will be activities for children ages 7 and older. Spanish translation also will be available.

The nonprofit anti-drug coalition Tualatin Together and the Tualatin Police Department are sponsoring Galloway's visit to Tualatin.

Cyndy Hillier, a spokeswoman for Tualatin Together, said Tualatin Police Chief Kent Barker has heard Galloway speak and was impressed by "how impactful he is and how knowledgeable he is."

Galloway will also work with Tualatin officers during his visit, Hillier said. "The police are really investing in this because they believe that it's information they really need," she said.

Tualatin Together and the Tualatin Police are sharing the $2,735 cost of Galloway's presentation, Hillier said.