The Wapello County Coalition indicated the strategy chosen through the Strategic Initiatives to Prevent Drug Overdoses (SIPDO) grant was “Alterations to the Physical Environment” (APE). The SIPDO Coordinator and Prevention Supervisor selected this strategy by conducting interviews with community partners, monthly coalition meetings, subcommittee meetings, and discussions with key county stakeholders.
The coalition discovered that by reinforcing current environmental policies and reclaiming public and private areas in Ottumwa by installing neighborhood area cameras at reported drug activity hot spots would help discourage and prevent neighborhood methamphetamine availability, drug dealing, and street use in the community.
Through interviews and group discussions, the coalition found that illegal drug activity is taking place outside in public and or private parking lots and grounds. Some of it went undetected in real time by law enforcement because of lack of police coverage and the resources to install outside neighborhood cameras in those areas to better prevent future problems associated with illegal drug use.
The coalition and law enforcement agreed by implementing APE and altering the illegal drug environment of the identified areas and installing surveillance cameras would improve the safety and livability of community neighborhoods in Ottumwa, Iowa and surrounding areas.