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Working with Law Enforcement in Drug Endangered Children (DEC) Efforts

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2020
1 page

This brief publication of the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children (DEC) provides guidelines for working with law enforcement.


This publication of the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children (DEC) provides guidance for working with law enforcement in situations where children are endangered by drugs. Law enforcement can be integral in the identification of drug endangered children as well as helping intervene in the child and family’s life. Law enforcement has the unique ability to sometimes see things that other disciplines are not able to see. This information and evidence are vital to other disciplines when doing their investigations and making decisions around child safety and wellbeing as well as providing services to the children and family. Law enforcement’s information and evidence can assist other disciplines in making decisions around services for the children and family, cases and investigations, and identifying children. The information needed from other disciplines could include: pictures and video of the house or the scene; pictures of drugs and paraphernalia; picture of risks in the home or at the scene; information about statements made by children and caregivers; information on the behavior of the children and caregivers; criminal activity, charges, and convictions Law enforcement can assist other disciplines in various training and education including drug identification and trends; criminal laws; and criminal data. Other disciplines can train and educate law enforcement on the following: risks to children of parental addiction and drug activity; signs of children; long-term impact to children due to parental substance use and drug activity; signs and impact of trauma on children and their development; and child development.