News and Press Releases

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles Announces S.C. Drug Endangered Children (DEC) Alliance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2014

Contact Person: Anne Frate (803) 929-3000

Columbia, South Carolina ----- U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles, announced today that 22 federal, state and local leaders have entered into an alliance to identify and protect drug endangered children in the State of South Carolina.

The South Carolina Alliance for Drug Endangered children includes professionals – various law enforcement agencies, social services specialists, child advocates, prosecutors, physicians, fire fighters, and local community groups – who are striving for an effective way to identify and protect those children removed from drug environments, who are in danger of physical, mental and emotional abuse, as well as, exposure to the use of firearms, violence or other dangerous items associated with drug manufacturing and distribution.  

“Drug Endangered Children are at greater risk of death, developmental problems, supervisory, educational and emotional neglect, as well as physical and sexual abuse.  It is the goal of the DEC Alliance to coordinate the response to these children’s needs in order to break the cycle of drug and child abuse,” said Bill Nettles.

“Children discovered in drug environments have critical physical, behavioral and mental health needs that if not properly addressed will have long-term impact in their lives.  These guidelines address timely and proper intervention,” said Dr. Olga Rosa, of the U.S.C School of Medicine.

Importantly, these guidelines do not require additional funding in order to be successful.  This interdisciplinary model utilizes existing social infrastructure and creates the framework needed for each agency to not work within their own silo, but to instead work together toward a common goal; happy, healthy, protected children.

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said, “This is yet another progressive program instituted by our office assembling a broad based coalition to make the citizens of SC safer and healthier and break the circle of violence.  We thank everyone who has participated in this process.  I am proud of the results.”

The following agencies have endorsed the State Guidelines and were integral to their completion: 

For Law Enforcement and Prosecution:      
The U.S. Attorney’s Office – Bill Nettles, U.S. Attorney
S.C. Attorney General – Alan Wilson, Attorney General
S.C. Law Enforcement Division – Chief Mark Keel
S.C. Sheriff’s Association – Jeff Moore, Executive Director
S.C. Department of Public Safety – Leroy Smith, Director
S.C. Police Chief’s Association – Terrence Green, Chief
S.C. Commission on Prosecution Coordination – David Ross, Executive Director
S.C. Solicitor’s Association – Chrissy Adams, President

For Child Protection and Victim Services:  

S.C. Department of Social Services – Lillian Koller, Director
S.C. Crime Victims’ Council – Laura Hudson, Director
S.C. State Office of Victim Assistance – Dr. Larry Barker, Director
S.C. Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers – Kim Hamm, Executive Director
U.S.C. School of Law, Children’s Law Center – Harry Davis, Director

Medical Response and Treatment

U.S.C. School of Medicine – Olga Rosa, M.D. FAAP, Director
S.C. Children’s Advocacy Medical Response System - Olga Rosa, M.D. FAAP, Director
S.C. Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics – Deborah Greenhouse, M.D., President
S.C. Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services – Robert “Bob” Toomey, Director
The Medical University of South Carolina

Fire/HAZMAT, and Emergency Response

S.C. State Association of Fire Chiefs – Chief Tracy Wallace, President
S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control – Catherine Templeton, Director
S.C. EMS Association – Derek Kinney, President
S.C. Firefighter’s Association – Joe Palmer, Executive Director

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