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					                                                                                                                                                        1
                                                                                                                 SAN DIEGO COUNTY
1 Evaluation: It’s Only Logical

3 Tot Lots: A Sandbox Skirmish

5 Clean Card: An Electrifying
  Idea

7 Q&A with James Baker




                                                     EVALUATION:
The San Diego County edition of Prevention
File is published in cooperation with the
County of San Diego Health and Human
Services Agency, Alcohol and Drug Services
(ADS). Please address all comments to


                                                                    IT’S ONLY LOGICAL
HHSA, ADS, P.O. Box 85222, San
Diego, CA 92186-5222; or call ADS at
619/692-5717.
E-mail: ryhardlhe@co.san-diego.ca.us
                                                                  “EVALUATION IS OFTEN VIEWED             in a string of reports that have little relevance to
                                                                  as an activity that is expensive,       program operations.
                                                                  time consuming, and beyond the              “By leaving evaluation to the ‘experts,’ evalu-
                                                    resources of prevention specialists,” Segars says     ation is often more responsive to the needs of
                                                    in a workshop handbook he has written. “Rather        researchers than programs. Issues of relevance
                                                    than attempting to collect information which          often become secondary to complex research
                                                    answers basic questions for programs, pre-            designs and the development of sophisticated
                                                    vention specialists are often afraid to collect       measurement tools,” he says.
                                                    any information if they cannot do                                         A basic question, however,
                Lance Segars, a longtime            the perfect study. Given limited                 A basic              always needs to be addressed: Is
                researcher with San Diego           resources, this means that most pro-                                  the alcohol or other drug-prevention
                County and San Diego State
                                                                                                    question,
                                                    grams do nothing rather than settle                                   program working?
                University for alcohol and          for achievable goals.”                   however, always Segars, who holds a doctoral
                other drug prevention, is in the       The title of the handbook,
                business of demystifying
                                                                                                 needs to be degree in social work from the
                                                    Grassroots Program Evaluation                                         University of Pittsburgh, thinks pro-
                the evaluation process that         Without a Budget, is as straightfor-        addressed. Is gram providers need to strip away
                often trips up prevention           ward as Segars’ basic philosophy
                program providers and
                                                                                              the alcohol or the fancy terminology and jargon
                                                    toward evaluation of prevention                                       so often associated with the evalu-
                community groups.                   programs: “Keep it simple and                 other drug              ation process and, instead, focus
                                                    keep bringing it back to common               prevention              on logic. Evaluation then becomes
                                                    sense,” he said in a recent inter-                                    an exercise in collecting information
                                                    view. “Evaluation is not rocket                 program               that describes the effort expended
                                                    science.                                        working?              to implement the prevention pro-
                                                       “My observation is that preven-                                    gram and changes in characteris-
                                                    tion people often start with great expectations       tics resulting from those efforts. It does not have
                                                    and much enthusiasm, but somewhere along the          to be overly time consuming or expensive, he
                                                    line, that changes. People are afraid to make         says.
                                                    mistakes, they’re afraid they don’t know enough           “While this simplified view will not result in
                                                    or that they’ll make fools of themselves if they try  the development of scientifically rigorous findings
                                                    to explain what they’re doing.”                       appropriate for journal publications, such proce-
                                                       According to Segars, part of the problem is        dures can result in information that is immediately
                                                    that prevention providers do not always under-        useful in describing prevention efforts and their
                                                    stand what a funding agency wants in terms of         results,” he says.
                                                    evaluation. Coupling that with their belief that          As described by Segars, a logic model graph-
                                                    they are not up to the evaluation task may result     ically represents the sequence of plausible inten-


                                                   S A N   D I E G O   C O U N T Y    E D I T I O N    S P R I N G    2 0 0 1     P R E V E N T ION      FILE
     Activity                                 Immediate                                Intermediate                                   Long-Term
                                               Outcome                                   Outcome                                       Outcome
                                                         THE LOGIC MODEL
tions about the purpose of a program—from                     He says prevention providers should not limit      researchers would like but the result is more
activities through immediate outcomes, to interme-        program objectives, but rather expose them to          easily understood by program staff.”
diate outcomes, to long-term outcomes.                    “a brainstorming process in which all of the               Segars points out that when results are under-
    Segars says that this model helps prevention          things that will change as a result of activities      stood by staff, they are more easily explained
providers clearly summarize their activities, docu-       are considered.”                                       to those funding prevention programs.
ment plausibility, avoid miscommunication, and                The next step is to examine the possible               “You’re not a research specialist,”
define program needs. Because it aids in under-            time order of the objectives related
                                                                                                    In most cases Segars advises prevention
standing links between activities and change,             to an activity because changes in                                     personnel. “However, your
evaluation becomes a matter of documenting both           one area often lead to changes in                you can              documented efforts put you well
activities and results.                                   others.                                                               beyond most programs.”
                                                                                                         develop a
    Understanding a prevention program’s mission,             “In most cases,” says Segars,                                        Segars also reminds prevention
or ultimate goal, is a solid starting point for deter-    “you can develop a logical pro-                   logical             providers to trust their instincts.
mining the logic model, Segars says. Even in              gression of objectives that are seen
                                                                                                   progression of They usually have a solid working
a program with a detailed mission statement,              as immediate, intermediate, and                                       knowledge of prevention strategies
it is necessary to review, renew, or revise it.           long-term outcomes of a given activ-     objectives that and activities, and they know the
    “Programs tend to change in reaction to envi-         ity. When taken together these                                        key questions to ask to understand
                                                                                                        are seen as
ronmental influences, and these changes many               objectives move the program closer                                    programs and implement changes.
not be reflected in the program’s formal plans,”           to achieving its mission.”                    immediate               Defining a simple evaluation
he said. It’s important for staff and volunteers to           Development of objectives and                                     process should be part of the
                                                                                                         outcomes,
understand why their activities are expected to           their time categorization starts the                                  program planning process from
result in change. And, writing program objectives         logic model for program evalua-            intermediate the very start.
in a logical format that allows documentation to          tions and its next step, which is                                        “Program staff should become
                                                                                                   outcomes and
be done more easily.                                      measurement of outcomes based                                         more confident in their abilities
    “Since evaluation involves documenting change         on comparisons. This usually boils             long-term              to pose simple questions about
as a result of an activity, we need to develop            down to asking: “After the activity
                                                                                                   outcomes of a program activities and outcomes
objectives that will tell us about both change and        was implemented, was the antic-                                       to find simple measures for these
activities,” he says, noting that change is specified      ipated increase or decrease               given activity. questions, and to present the
as either an increase or a decrease.                      observed?”                                                            results,” he says.
    For example, as laid out in a logic model, pro-           Segars again advises simplicity in developing          “The basic premise underlying the logic model
gram objectives show an increase or decrease in           measuring tools and reporting results. “If con-        is that providing simple, straightforward answers
what is supposed to change (the number of alco-           fronted with the choice between a 40-item scale        to basic questions is preferable to doing nothing
holic drinks consumed at a bar) as a result of a          to measure (for example) the perceived ease            because of the complexities.”
specific prevention program activity (for example,         of access to alcohol or a single item that asks
training beverage servers to be more responsible).        students to rate from 1 to 10 how easily they




2
                                                          can obtain alcohol, use the single item,” he
                                                          says. “Responses may not be as rigorous as

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                                                                      SAN DIEGO COUNTY




TOT LOTS: A SANDBOX SKIRMISH
                     BATTLEFIELDS COME IN MANY                        Malone explains that the “Tot Lot” project began
                     SHAPES AND SIZES. For Palavra                when youngsters playing tee ball and Little League
                     Tree, a community prevention group           at Southcrest Park complained to a coach that the
         in Southeast San Diego, a recent stage for its           smoke from parents and other adults watching the
         continuing war on youth tobacco use was a                ballgames was causing them breathing problems.
         24-foot by 36-foot sandlot in the heart of a city            These adults were “doing some serious smoking”
         playground. Its combatants were dedicated mini-          at the edge of the playing field, Malone says,
         warriors, armed with plastic pails. Their mission        “and these little kids, all breathing hard from run-
         was straightforward—start a simple skirmish that         ning, were really having a hard time with all the
         would end with a victory at City Hall.                   secondhand smoke.”
            “One of the best parts of this project was that           One of the coaches was Juan Diego Smith,
         the kids were involved from start to finish,” says        director of Comm-PACT (Community Partners
         Cleo Malone, executive director of Palavra Tree,         Against Cigarettes and Tobacco) an arm of Palavra
         an alcohol, tobacco, and other drug-prevention           Tree. The adults were asked not to smoke, and most
         collaborative of the County of San Diego Health          complied, Smith said. But then another problem
         and Human Services Services Agency.                      arose. Though smoking near the playing fields was
                                                                  curtailed, cigarette butts were being extinguished
                                                                  and left in the nearby sandlots for toddlers.
                                                                      “The kids complained again,” Smith says. “We
                                                                  took a look and sure enough, this sandlot had been
                                                                  turned into one big old ashtray.”
                                                                      Toddler sandboxes in other nearby parks were
                                                                  given a cursory check, and the results were similar
                                                                  to Southcrest. Palavra Tree decided to mobilize kids
                                                                  who use the neighborhood parks to become data
                                                                  collectors. Children ranging in age from 7 to 12
                                                                  picked up extinguished cigarette butts from the lots
                                                                  and then counted them. “The kids really got into
                                                                  it,” Malone says. “They were learning kids have
                                                                  health rights too, and that they can be empowered
                                                                  to ensure their rights.”
                                                                      The results from the kids’ data collection were
                                                                  unsettling.
                                                                      “Just from the surface, we collected 648 butts
                                                                  in one sandlot, 518 in another, and 358 in yet
                                                                  another,” Malone says.



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                                                                                                  tobacco products in tot lot play areas,” Stevens says.
                                                                                                       From the kids’ first complaints to council enactment,
                                                                                                  Malone says the Tot Lot project took about five months.
                                                                                                  He credits Palavra Tree organizers and their armies of
                                                                                                  kids for collecting cigarette butts from parks in all City
                                                                                                  Council districts as instrumental in the relatively quick
                                                                                                  process. “We had the foresight to gather data from all
                                                                                                  areas before going to the council,” he said.
                                                                                                       Malone sees the Tot Lot project as a solid example
                                                                                                  of Palavra Tree’s goal “to put the ‘neighbor’ back into
                                                                                                  ‘neighborhood.’”
                                                                                                       “Too often, we’ve allowed ourselves to be defined
                                                                                                  by sources outside our neighborhood,” he says, “and
                                                                                                  often, that description just comes out as ‘hood.’”
                                         Kids were then given rakes and told to rake                   Since its founding in 1973, Palavra Tree has
                                      beneath the surface, where hundreds more old butts          stressed the personal involvement of neighborhood
                                      were collected. “Getting data like this was really an       members to assume responsibility for the health, safety,
                                      important teaching tool to use with the kids,” Malone       and wellness of their communities.
       Palavra Tree                   says. “They learned the importance of gathering                  The agency takes its name from the word “pala-
                                      their facts.”                                               vra,” which means “to communicate” in many African
        decided to                       Palavra Tree then began checking data available          languages, and the practice of village elders meeting
       mobilize kids                  from the University of California. Malone learned, for      under the baobab, or monkey bread tree to come
                                      example, that in 1999, 648 children throughout the          up with solutions to problems. Each year, Malone
       who use the                    state had been reported ill and, in some cases, hos-        says, the organization trains about 400 residents,
      neighborhood                    pitalized after ingesting discarded tobacco products.       primarily in African American and Latino communities,
                                      One-third of that number were reports from San Diego        to become effective agents of public health change.
     parks to become                  County.                                                     Significantly, many of them are youths.
      data collectors.                   Armed with this data, kids checked other sandlots             “If you look at the history of blacks and Latinos,
                                      in parks and playgrounds around San Diego and               it’s always the young people that took the forefront,”
                                      tabulated the results. The sampling continued to turn       Malone says. “They will step out on faith.”
                                      up large numbers of butts in sandboxes throughout                With growing alcohol, tobacco, and other drug
                                      the city.                                                   problems, Malone says it is often too late to bring
                                         Palavra Tree stepped up its efforts with the City        change to adults. “They’re already addicted and
                                      Attorney’s office and staff in the offices of City            ‘brand loyal,’” he says. “If you want significant
                                      Councilman George Stevens, whose district includes          change, you must get the young people involved.”
                                      Southcrest Park. The upshot was the Tot Lot Law, an              Little League coach Smith says he is heartened that
                                      ordinance banning smoking or use of any tobacco             “more and more, kids are coming up and asking what
                                      product within 50 feet of a park sandbox. The City          can they do on these health issues.
                                      Council passed it unanimously in November 2000,                  “Children seem to always know what is best for
                                      and it was effective immediately. Offenders face a          them,” he adds. “We try to teach them that if you
                                      $50 citation.                                               want to know what’s best for someone, first you go




4
                                         “I think many other cities in the state will follow      ask them.”
                                      San Diego’s lead and prohibit smoking and the use of

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                                                                                     SAN DIEGO COUNTY




CLEAN CARD                       NATIONALLY, WORKERS IN THE                         Ken Stuart, the local NECA chapter’s adminis-

An Electrifying                  CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
                                 REPORT HIGH DRUG USE—more
                                                                                 trative manager for a drug-free workplace, says
                                                                                 the contractors’ association is at the extreme end

           Idea     than 17 percent, according to some federal
                    surveys. In San Diego, however, one large union
                                                                                 of the employee-drug-testing spectrum. Most only
                                                                                 require pre-employment drug testing and do not
                    and a trade association are taking what many                 have a process to ensure ongoing compliance.
                    see as positive steps to ensure that workers test               “Management’s thinking was, if we’re going
                    negative for drug use.                                       to do it, let’s do it right,” Stuart says. “We
                       This drug-free workplace program, known as                acknowledge the existence of the problem (of
                    the Clean Card Club, is part of the collective               workers using drugs) and we all want to promote
                    bargaining agreement between the International               a safe working environment.”
                    Brotherhood of Electrical Workers/Local 569                     In the first year of the Clean Card program,
  Workers get a     and the San Diego chapter of the National                    Stuart says, only about 2.5 percent of electri-
   Clean Card       Electrical Contractors Association. Of the local’s           cians tested at random showed positive for drug
                    2,100 members, about 1,500 workers are cov-                  use—significantly lower than those dramatically
 indicating that    ered by the agreement.                                       high percentages reported in some federal stud-
 they are drug-        Workers get a Clean Card indicating that                  ies. “And, I haven’t heard of even one post-
                    they are drug-free and eligible for work by under-           accident test that’s been positive” for drug use,
    free and        going an annual drug test. Additionally, 20 per-             he adds.
   eligible for     cent of the union’s workforce is subject to random              Of those who tested positive during the
                    drug testing once a month. Screening is handled              random testing, “maybe only a half dozen” have
    work by         by an outside third party, removing the employer             refused treatment, Stuart says. “All indications
 undergoing an      from any medical review function.                            are that the program is getting people into treat-
                       The test can detect methamphetamine,                      ment who need it.”
  annual drug       amphetamines, opiates, marijuana, and phency-                   According to Stuart, in addition to promoting
       test.        clidines. Testing for alcohol is included only if it is
                    a mandated test following an accident involving
                    a worker. Workers who test positive are offered
                    drug treatment through a comprehensive mem-
                    bers’ assistance program provided by the union.
                    Those who refuse treatment lose their union mem-
                    bership.
                       Workers who pass the random drug tests
                    receive an attractive bonus from the union: a
                    $50 check.
                       Both union and management representatives
                    agree that while the program has not been
                    immune from controversy, its overall effect has
                    been successful.

                   S A N   D I E G O    C O U N T Y       E D I T I O N       S P R I N G   2 0 0 1    P R E V E N T ION     FILE
                                                                       really know they had                    “It’s our hope that a program like Clean Card
                                                                       a problem.” The                      can have an ongoing life in other employment
                                                            treatment options offered to these              areas,” Bergstrom says. He adds he will be
                                                     electricians have been “overwhelmingly                 contacting a variety of management groups and
                                                     successful,” Shur says.                                unions to discuss the program.
                                                          The Clean Card program requires                      He sees the biggest challenge for developing
job safety and workers’ health, the Clean Card       constant education of members, according to            comparable drug-free workplace programs in other
program offers NECA a marketing advantage            Shur. The topic is frequently addressed in the         areas as coming down to basic economics. The
over non-union electrical contractors.               local’s newsletter and through distribu-        We’re really NECA/IBEW agreement applies to
    “Other employers may profess to have             tion of posters and fact sheets.                                       workers who are generally well
a (drug-free) program, but they can’t show                “We’re really trying to build a cul-     trying to build paid, Bergstrom says, and is sup-
the proof behind it,” he says. “From that competi-   ture that makes drug use unpopular,”           a culture that ported by a strong health-benefits
tive standpoint, the program has been very           Shur says. “I believe that unless you                                  package. Other management and
effective.”                                          can do that, no drug-testing program makes drug use union contracts may not have that
    Allen Shur, business manager for IBEW/Local      is going to work.”                               unpopular. financial backing.
569, had what he candidly admits was the                 Three years into the drug-testing                                     Small-business owners also have
unpopular job of selling his membership on the       program, Shur says most of the local’s members         special concerns and financial considerations for
Clean Card program when it was first presented.       “figure they can live with it.”                         designing and implementing drug-free workplace
    “They beat me to death about it,” Shur says.         “There is a vocal minority that love it,” he says, policies. Bergstrom says a good resource for them
    Members complained that the testing was an       “and a vocal minority that just hate it. But the great may be found through a state-funded program
invasion of privacy and an infringement of consti-   majority view it as a necessary inconvenience.”        called On Track at Work. Information on it may be
tutional rights. Most, however, saw the strong           Clean Card is a “wonderful example” of             found at www.ontrackatwork.org. To learn more
health benefits of the program, Shur adds,            a drug-free workplace program, says Carl               about developing a drug-free workplace or
especially because Local 569 is self-insured.        Bergstrom, the business-sector liaison for the         to nominate a business for a Substance
    “The majority of members also understood         County’s Substance Abuse Summit this April.            Abuse Summit Drug-free Workplace award
(the program) is better for us as workers, and       The Summit has previously recognized Clean                       for Summit 2002, call Bergstrom at
in the community it puts us at a higher level,”      Card as a model program, and Bergstrom                                        858/292-4423,
Shur says.                                           says both NECA’s Stuart and the union’s Shur
    An electrician’s work, of course, can be         continue to help in providing information
extremely hazardous and, Shur points out, “no        about the program to others in the busi-
one wants to be working next to somebody he’s        ness community.
not able to depend upon.”                                Clean Card Club is successful
    The program began by offering a 60-day           because it fulfills three important cri-
amnesty period for testing positive on the drug      teria, Bergstrom says. It has clearly
panel. Most of the positive testing results were     defined drug-free workplace poli-
from that time, Shur says. He adds that he was       cies and drug-screening procedures, it pro-
surprised many of those results were from mem-       vides education and employee assistance, and it
bers “who had a problem (with drugs) but didn’t      has appropriate health care benefits for treatment




6
                                                     when drug use is present.



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                                                                                                              SAN DIEGO COUNTY




Q&A                                            WITH JAMES BAKER
                                                 Is collaboration between
                                                 public health and law enforce-
                                                 ment a realistic approach to
                                                                                                          As public health advocates do
                                                                                                          you have to convince law
                                                                                                          enforcement agencies that it’s
                                                 prevention?                                              worth their effort to work with
                                                                                                          you?
                                                 A: In terms of realistic expectations, I think it
                                                 varies from case to case. We have tried to work          A: Not always, and certainly not with the
                                                 with law-enforcement agencies in some localities         Border Project in San Diego County. When we
                                                 where it’s not very fruitful, if not impossible. In      first went down to the border in 1996 and
                                                 other places we’ve worked with law enforcement           began looking at how young people were drink-
                                                 on projects that have been very good for the             ing in Tijuana and coming back across the
                                                 community. You can expect measured successes             border, the first people who came up to us enthu-
                                                 in some areas.                                           siastically and aggressively were the police. We
                                                                                                          were the first people they’d seen in a generation
                                                 When it doesn’t work too well,                           who were interested in finding a solution to
                                                 what’s the reason?                                       that problem. They’d been there all by them-
                                                                                                          selves. They started calling us, setting up meet-
                                                 A: For one thing, public health is a very unstruc-
                                                                                                          ings, and sharing data with us. Their enthusiasm
                                                 tured field in the way it goes about conducting
                                                                                                          overwhelmed us. So this was a case where law
                                                 prevention work in a community. The workers
                                                                                                          enforcement was really seeking a partnership
                                                 are usually given a lot of independence. Police
James Baker is executive director of the                                                                  with us. We’ve worked in other cities, however,
                                                 departments, on the other hand, have a lot of
Institute for Public Strategies based in San                                                              where the police department apparently didn’t
                                                 structure and bureaucracy in their organizations.
Diego, which provides leadership and strat-                                                               see any benefit in working with us at all.
                                                 They pay more attention to the rules than we do.
egies supporting changes in public and pri-      We’re two very different groups of people.
                                                                                                          How did the collaborative
vate policy and community standards and                                                                   effort in the Border Project
                                                 But don’t police and public
norms. IPS has been instrumental in forming                                                               develop?
                                                 health people have similar
the Border Project, which is working to          goals where alcohol is con-                              A: First, you have to understand that the Border
reduce the problem of underage drinkers          cerned?                                                  Project has a number of components. One of
crossing the border between San Diego                                                                     them is Operation Safe Crossing, and that is
                                                 A: People in police departments have told us
County and Baja California. The project                                                                   where the collaboration of public health and
                                                 that they realize most of the crime and problems
                                                                                                          law enforcement really lies. The Border Project
includes Operation Safe Crossing, a collab-      on the streets they deal with are related to
                                                                                                          itself involves universities, grassroots organiza-
oration between law-enforcement agencies         alcohol. But they often say, “yes, we know the
                                                                                                          tions, and other agencies, including a binational
                                                 problems better than anyone, but are you trying
and public health advocates working in pre-                                                               commission, and it is working very hard on
                                                 to tell us we can change it?” We hear that a
vention agencies and organizations. In this                                                               policy changes on both sides of the border. One
                                                 lot from police officers. They just don’t see the
                                                                                                          reason people think of the Border Project as a
interview Baker discusses the advantages         possibilities of change. Of course, they’ve taken
                                                                                                          law enforcement and public health collaborative
of collaborative efforts between enforcement     on the work of enforcing the laws, but we public
                                                                                                          is that it’s the “noisiest” part of the project, and
and public health as well as concerns about      health advocates have taken on the work of
                                                                                                          there’s a reason for that. The alcohol problem at
                                                 changing things.
the direction they may take.                                                                              the border needed to raise its voice, so to speak,


                                                S A N   D I E G O   C O U N T Y     E D I T I O N      S P R I N G   2 0 0 1    P R E V E N T ION       FILE
so it would be perceived by communities and            What kind of progress are you                             cies. They’re fabulous people to work with.
politicians on both sides of the border.               making toward the long-term                               However, one of the challenges in this process
   Our goal was to join forces with law enforce-       goals?                                                    is the fact that many law-enforcement agencies
ment agencies to provide a very modest amount                                                                    transfer their people from one assignment to another
                                                       A: There have been positive effects both in the
of increased enforcement in a very visible way.                                                                  at regular intervals. We get to know individuals in
                                                       area of policy and on the problem itself. We’ve
We wanted the situation at the border to be                                                                      a police department, and then at the end of two
                                                       seen a reduction of between 25 and 50 percent
perceived as a reducible or solvable problem.                                                                    years they are transferred to a new assignment.
                                                       in late-night border crossings and a reduction in the
For us, this was a big piece of the benefit of                                                                    Then you get someone coming in who has no
                                                       blood-alcohol level of those who do cross and come
working with police departments. We discovered                                                                   real understanding of the project and has to be
                                                       back later. There are more youth being turned away
that law-enforcement agencies have much bigger                                                                   introduced to what we’re trying to do.
                                                       without crossing the border, and more false IDs
budgets and more manpower and equipment
                                                       being confiscated. Most of the policy changes have
than public health and prevention agencies. They                                                                 Collaboration between public
                                                       occurred in Tijuana. Very early on we achieved
have resources that can be moved from one                                                                        health and law enforcement
                                                       a policy change in advertising—no more of those
place to another. Activities like DUI checkpoints                                                                seems to be the wave of the
                                                       huge signs advertising free drinks for women only,
can get the press and TV coverage that is impor-                                                                 future. How much of our pre-
                                                       or all-you-can-drink specials. We taught trainers to
tant for the media advocacy work.                                                                                vention effort should be directed
                                                       do responsible beverage service training in Tijuana
                                                                                                                 toward enforcement?
                                                       bars and it is now required in the state of Baja
Operation Safe Crossing
                                                       California. The binational commission is working          A: You hear so much about public health and law
includes more agencies than
                                                       with the governor and legislature of Baja on a bill       enforcement working together that it’s beginning
just the San Diego Police
                                                       that would mandate a 2 a.m. closing time for bars,        to sound like a mantra. I think we should be
Department. How did this
                                                       which now have no required closing time. Our main         careful about that. It’s very easy for prevention
come about?
                                                       policy goal is to see Mexico raise its legal drinking     agencies to go for the quick fix, to go where the
A: We went to all the other law-enforcement            age to 21. That may not be realistic in the short         resources and enthusiastic workers are. I’ve seen
agencies—federal, state, and local—on both             term but they’re talking about it in Mexico City, the     some prevention groups put too many chips on
sides of the border and involved them in a             nation’s capital.                                         enforcement. Actually, the role of enforcement is
dialogue about the nature of the problem and                                                                     a strategic issue for each community to decide. It
how to solve it. Our discussion was focused            What kind of organizational                               depends on the nature of the problem, who the
on long-term policy changes. But if we hadn’t          structure does the Border Project                         participants are in a project, and what the goals
had the highly visible problem identification and       have?                                                     and ultimate solutions are. Sometimes a problem
early enforcement operations, we wouldn’t have                                                                   can be better resolved with policy work. Not that
                                                       A: The participation of community organizations is
had the credibility to support our work on long-                                                                 we shouldn’t be collaborating with law enforce-
                                                       very broad. There are one or two large
term goals. The combination of public health                                                                     ment. We should just be sure we examine where it
                                                       meetings a year for everyone involved and smaller
advocacy and law enforcement is a stage on                                                                       fits and how it serves the goals of a project.
                                                       work groups that meet more frequently. On the
which to move an issue higher on the public
                                                       enforcement side we’ve
agenda. We’ve learned that we have to be
                                                       been working with the
careful to inject a policy discussion into it or we
                                                       San Diego County Law
get carried away into thinking the goal is enforce-
                                                       Enforcement Task Force,
ment. For prevention, enforcement isn’t aimed
                                                       which is working on
at blaming somebody or creating scapegoats,
                                                       underage drinking
                                                                                      MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR
especially youth. Not only would that be
                                                       problems with the              SUBSTANCE ABUSE SUMMIT VI
destructive to youth, but it would not serve a
                                                       County’s Policy Panel          San Diego County Substance Abuse Summit VI is scheduled for Tuesday
long-term purpose.
                                                       on Youth Access to             and Wednesday, April 17 and 18, 2001, at the Town and Country
                                                       Alcohol. We have a             Convention Center. For additional information or to place your name
                                                       very high regard for           on the Substance Abuse Summit mailing list, call the County of San
                                                       all the law-enforcement
                                                                                      Diego Alcohol and Drug Services at 619/692-5717, or visit the Website at
                                                       people we work with




    8
                                                                                      www.substanceabusesummit.com.
                                                       and all of their agen-


            SAN      DIEG O      C O U N T Y     E D I T I O N   S P R I N G   2 0 0 1     P R E V E N T I O N    F I L E

				
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