Ocean County school gets checked for drugs; addicts offered amnesty, rehab
MANCHESTER — The most drug-aware community in the state could be in Ocean County, where police conducted a drug sweep of schools and participated in a day-long involvement in the Heroin Addiction Response Program (HARP).
Manchester Township High School students on Wednesday encountered five K-9 squads from local police, as departments in Allenhurst, Plumsted and Toms River conducted one in a series of unannounced drug sweeps by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.
The dogs spend about an hour searching lockers, according to Prosecutor's Office spokesman Al Della Fave. Findings are kept confidential among law enforcement, school officials and parents of any student suspected of having drugs.
The aim is to "assure a Drug Free School Zone and a safe learning environment" for Ocean County students, according to Della Fave.
Manchester and Brick police are participating in a program allowing Ocean County residents to turn in their drug stashes in order to enter a rehab program. Those who do are not arrested and face no charges. Manchester police offer the amnesty program on Wednesday while Brick offer the program on Thursday.
Della Fave said 90 people have turned themselves in so far.
On Feb. 17, Jemel Cooper, 37, was arrested during a Route 70 traffic stop, during which police said they found heroin and cocaine in his car.
That led to a search of his Ridgeway Road dwelling, where police said that they found 13 grams of crack, 110 doses of heroin, and $1,001 cash, which they believe to be drug deal proceeds.
Cooper was released to await court proceedings, but police impounded his 2011 Dodge Charger.
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