About the Project
What You Don’t See ™ was developed by the Iowa Narcotics Officers Association as a response to a clearly identified public need for more youth interdiction training. Up to the point of development, the traditional efforts for drug response focused largely on reactionary approaches. With the ever-growing drug epidemic, analysis of the people being arrested for narcotics-related offenses, and analysis of the people over-dosing from narcotics, it was evident we needed a solution to divert and redirect youth behaviors to offer a prevention solution. The objective for What You Don’t See™ was 2-fold. First, we wanted to intercept today’s youth before they become addicts who transition into adulthood. Studies show that long-term use of any addictive substance is harder to change as the pattern continues. By catching the behaviors at a younger age, we would be able to save lives by changing the behavior. The secondary objective for this program was to build relationships between the law enforcement agencies hosting the project and the communities they serve by opening a dialogue and creating interaction and stronger communities.
The project concept was presented to Sammons financial who immediately jumped on board as our community partners. They provided critical funding and allowed the INOA to acquire the mobile training trailer and everything that was essential to get the project off the ground. Karl Chevrolet then stepped onto the scene and offered a dedicated vehicle for first 3 years to ensure that no agency would be left hanging without the means of getting this critical training & education opportunity to their area. Because this entire project is based on the premise of education & training, the DMACC College of Videography volunteered to make an intro video for the first training phase of the experience and of course, this too would be a learning opportunity. They also made a much appreciated introduction the DMACC College of Web Design who created an interactive web experience for our users. By the end of the semester, the INOA had a professional mood-setter video, an exceptional website, a mobile training trailer and way to bring it all around the state to the citizens of Iowa.
The INOA has taken great effort in networking additional resources to serve communities all across Iowa so that the resources and on-going support continues long after the project leaves town. Parents receive the support and education they need and they learn how to talk to their kids about uncomfortable and often sensitive topics. Calls for service are reduced through joint-effort which makes communities safer, and in the end, lives are saved! Do you know….What You Don’t See™?