TRIP is proud to partner with the Troy Drug Free Community Coalition (Troy DFCC) and to host the organization at our office. The work of the Troy DFCC is to reduce substance abuse among young people and build a safer, more prosperous community for all. This is very much in line with TRIP’s mission and community-building efforts.
The Troy DFCC emerged from the Troy Neighborhoods Action Coalition (TNAC), where neighborhood groups would talk about quality of life issues, including drug and alcohol abuse, crime, and disengaged youth. Recognizing that they could be more effective in addressing issues together, the Troy DFCC was formed.
The Troy Drug Free Community Coalition is a coalition of community members, police, schools, and more that seek to reduce youth substance abuse through the promotion of positive opportunities for Troy’s young people.
In the beginning some of the neighborhood groups began partnering with Community Police, youth agencies, and Weed and Seed Program. The focus was on providing youth with positive opportunities. Scholarships to the “elite” Arts Center of the Capital Region were provided to underprivileged youth. One young man turned out to be quite a talented potter. His mother claims this new interest saved him from joining a street gang. Scholarships were also secured to sleep-away camps run by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. Troy youth experienced rural living for the first time in their lives.
House parties involving underage drinking, noise and Lewd behaviors became very popular in 2007. Neighborhood groups complained to the police and city government. Leaders and members of the coalition approached the city Council, the City Council to amend the City Code of Ordinances by adding Chapter 130: “Community Social Host and Underage Drinking”. In 2008, the City Council amended the City Code of Ordinances by adding Chapter 130: “Community Social Host and Underage Drinking”. The purpose of this legislation is to protect the public interest welfare health and safety within Troy, by prohibiting the services to and consumption of alcoholic beverages and drugs by persons under the age of twenty-one. Failure to comply with the ordinance can result in a violation punishable by a fine which shall not exceed one thousand dollars or imprisonment not to exceed fifteen days or a combination of fine and imprisonment set by the court.
The Social Host Law added new energy to the DFCC. The coalition began looking at other ways to improve community involvement and attachment while addressing the issues of substance abuse among community youth. The group partnered with PEP (Peers Educating Peers) Teens on a Paint the Boards project. This initiative beautified abandoned homes and boosted neighborhood pride especially among the youth. Youth involvement in the coalition was significant particularly at this time, as there was a rash of car break-ins, fights and shootings, all involving youth. Members of the coalition did not hide out in their homes. In addition to creating opportunity for community involvement, they voiced their concerns to the police and city officials, asking for more resources to deter these antisocial youth behaviors.
In 2011 with the influx of synthetic marijuana, the coalition was educated by the Rensselaer County Community Prevention Specialist on the availability and dangers of synthetic marijuana. Although grateful for the update, many community members were appalled that neighborhood stores were selling the substance as “incense” to teens. There were two stores in Troy identified as giving out free samples to youth. Troy DFCC members vowed to put an end to allowing synthetic marijuana in their city. The group worked closely with the County Drug Free Community Coalition to devise and administer an action plan. This was the catalyst to that first major focus.
The Troy Drug Free Community Coalition involves community members from various sectors including youth (18 or younger), parents, business, media, school, youth-serving organization, law enforcement, religious/fraternal organizations, civic/ volunteer groups, healthcare, government, and ATOD (Alcohol, Tobacco, Other Drugs) prevention organizations.
TroyDFCC meetings are open to the public and held monthly on the 3rd Monday of each month at 6 PM. If you would like to get involved, contact Davia Collington, TroyDFCC Project Coordinator at (518) 272-8289 ext216 or TroyDFCC@triponline.org.
Troy Drug Tip Line: 518-270-5004
Help for Drugs, Alcohol, Gambling 1-877-8- HOPENY (1-877-846-7369)