Do you know what is ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’?

By Kelsey Leyva -

Ever wonder what dangers could be hiding under the massive clothes piles or on the cluttered dresser in your son or daughter’s room?

Would you know what to look for if you suspected drug use?

“Hidden In Plain Sight” is an awareness program that kicked off in 2011 when the Bath and Copley police departments joined forces. Officers will bring the exhibit to the village at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Wellington Eagles.

The interactive exhibit is designed to resemble a teenager’s bedroom and contains more than 150 items that may be clues to substance abuse, eating disorders, and juvenile crime.

The audience will get 30 minutes to search the room. A discussion and presentation follow the “snoop and search.”

Wellington police chief Tim Barfield said the community has responded positively to the department’s decision to bring the program to the village.

“This is a chance for people to learn a lot of things,” he said. “They may be amazed at what’s going on inside their own houses because as the title of the program is “Hidden in Plain Sight.” If you don’t know what (an exhibit item) is you think, ‘That’s cute’ and then it’s a marijuana grinder or it’s a pipe or some other kind of drug or hint that some behavior is going on that you may not approve for your child.”

Other organizations helping make the event possible are the Wellington Kiwanis Club, the Wellington Eagles, the fire department, the South Lorain County Ambulance District, and Lorain County Drug and Alcohol Abuse Services.

Although Copley and Bath don’t require it, Kiwanis is making a donation to help differ some of the cost of appearing in Wellington. Kiwanis is also providing child care services for parents who attend because children are not permitted to participate.

Barfield said he’s reached out to the Wellington, Black River, and Oberlin school districts to draw more parents to the event.

“If parents can be awakened and a little more observant about things that are right under their noses then it’s all the better,” he said. “And in addition they’ll be given some tools and skills to maybe interact with their kids a little more and find a way to talk to them if they find something. It’s not just opening their eyes, it’s communicating to them how they can use the information.”

Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.

By Kelsey Leyva