A new group has formed to help combat drugs in the Fenton area in the wake of three recent overdose deaths among young people.
The committee, called “The Community Parent,” met Tuesday night at the . The group reached out to any resources available to help the prevention of drug abuse.
“We want to provide our community with resources to ensure safety to all children,” said Joe Graves, a Genesee County commissioner and the committee chairman. “We want to declare war on drug dealers.”
Also on the committee is Sam Jawhari, the father of Briona Jawhari, 17, of Fenton Township, who died last month of an apparent drug overdose.
“I don’t want my daughter to die in vain,” he said. “I want to save as many lives as we can.”
Genesee Family Court Judge Duncan Beagle, officials from Genesee County, state Sen. David Robertson (R-Grand Blanc Township) and Genesee County Sheriff’s Department officials were on hand to volunteer services to the cause.
“The problem is more severe than you want to admit,” Beagle said.
Fenton Township Trustee Tony Brown suggested trying to start a statewide drug registry similar to the sex offender registry or having billboards featuring convicted drug dealers' photos and reading “Have you seen your child with this person?”
However, Jawhari said it’s not only the big-time drug dealers who are the problem.
“I did everything in my power to protect my daughter,” Jawhari said. “It was somebody she loved that put that needle in her arm. It’s the people they love or know that get them started.”
Officials agreed that education in the schools should be a big part of prevention.
“One time with a needle and you are hooked for life. They (students) need to know that. I don’t think they really realize that,” said Superintendent Wayne Wright.
Officials asked all people and participants to leave contact information so they can put together as many resources as possible. Graves said the committee will try to organize resources and decide what direction The Community Parent will take. The group will meet again at 7 p.m. March 22 at the .
“We want to do whatever we can to make this a safe area for our children,” Graves said.