See how the “Weed and Seed” strategy “weeds” out drug trafficking, violent crimes and related offenses through coordinated law enforcement and community policing efforts, and then “seeds” the designated areas with prevention, intervention and treatment programs. We’ll travel to Atlanta, where the Weed and Seed strategy seems to be working, and hear from residents and city leaders about how far they’ve come and where they still want to go.

We’ll also see how people living in one neighborhood in Topeka, KS, banded together to keep drugs off their streets, and how some simple and inexpensive things can make a big difference.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how community policing works and coalitions can help
  • See how the Weed and Sees strategy is making a difference
  • Find out about how gangs and drugs are linked
  • Learn the basics about drug gangs and how to spot them

Originally Aired: July 27, 2006

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Panelists

Mary Elizabeth Larson

(Host) Vice President, Communications and Membership, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA)

Dennis E. Greenhouse

Community Capacity Development Office

Since May 2006, Dennis E. Greenhouse has been the Director of the Community Capacity Development Office, of which Weed & Seed is a part. Prior to this assignment, Greenhouse had been the Deputy Director of the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) since September 2003. From 1999 to 2000, he served as Principal Deputy Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) at the Department of Justice. Before coming to the COPS Office, Greenhouse was Acting Deputy Director of the Bureau of State and Local Affairs for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Beverly Alford

Assistant Director of the Training and Technical Assistance Division at the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)

Beverly Alford is responsible for monitoring, designing, implementing and assessing national community policing programs, and oversees COPS’ national network of regional community policing training institutes. She has been with the COPS Office since 1996.

Alford has an extensive background in community policing, and brings more than 26 years of law enforcement experience to the COPS Office. Before joining COPS, Alford held a variety of positions in the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, DC. In addition to serving as a Tactical Patrol Officer, Management Analyst, and Crime Prevention Specialist, Alford also served as Commander of the Department’s First District Investigative and Youth Service units, Deputy Director of the Financial Management Office, and as the Public Information Officer for the Department. She retired at the rank of Lieutenant.

After her retirement, she served as a Senior Lead Instructor for the Haitian National Police Training Center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, as a part of the United Nations’ International Training Mission. Upon her return stateside, she worked as a Special Projects Manager for the Brady Center to Prevent Handgun Violence. She is a graduate of South Carolina State University.

Joseph Smith

Community Policing Officer, St. Petersburg Police Department, St. Petersburg, FL

Smith is currently assigned to the largest inner-city community policing area in St. Petersburg. He has been with the St. Petersburg Police Department since 1982. During that time, he has worked in the detective’s bureau, where he was assigned as a child abuse investigator, and as a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) Officer, Patrol Officer, Housing Authority Officer and Acting Street Supervisor. Smith holds a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Saint Leo University and is currently in the process of obtaining his MBA. He is a State of Florida Certified Instructor for several law enforcement subjects. In 2003, the St. Petersburg Optimist Club named him “Police Officer of the Year.” He is also the director of a local summer youth program attended by more than 350 youths.

Tim Guerrette

Collier County, FL Sheriff’s Office, Gangs Expert

Guerrette is currently employed in an area of about 95,000 residents known for its high street gang and drug activity. He has been working as a law enforcement officer since 1989 in several different capacities, including school resource officer. In 1996, Guerrette started working in the agency’s criminal intelligence bureau as a street gang investigator and, in 1999, was selected to head the agency’s Street Gang Unit. Guerrette is a current and past board member of the Florida Gang Investigators Association. He is a graduate of several advanced learning, leadership and development courses and most recently graduated from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Leadership Academy in Tallahassee, FL. He currently attends Edison College in Ft. Myers, FL.