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Published:August 7th, 2006 16:38 EST
DEA Target America: Opening Eyes

DEA Target America: Opening Eyes

By SOP newswire

(Chicago, IL) " The national touring exhibit, Target America: Opening Eyes to the Damage Drugs Cause, " a powerful new exhibit developed by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), is coming to the windy city`s Museum of Science and Industry (MSI).

Mayor Richard M. Daley asked DEA to bring Target America " to Chicago after reading a USA Today story about the exhibit`s New York City opening in the fall of 2004. He wanted the exhibit in Chicago because he is passionate and committed to fighting the drug problem.

This one-of-a-kind exhibit graphically shows how U.S. illegal drug sales not only fund global terrorism, but also how drugs terrorize all of us, " said DEA Administrator Karen P. Tandy. The drug trade is a cash cow for many of America`s worst enemies, with nearly half of all foreign terrorist organizations tied to it. Here at home, drugs exact a devastating toll--from toxic meth labs, to drugged drivers on our roads, to thousands of endangered children across America. We are making great progress reducing the supply and abuse of drugs, and it is our hope that having this exhibit in Chicago will shine a light on how the far reaching devastation from drugs affects everyone. "

Illegal drugs are at the heart of much of the crime that takes place in our city, " said Mayor Daley. The Chicago Police Department has adopted a number of new strategies to go after the drug dealers " including surveillance cameras and tough enforcement of our gang-loitering ordinance, but public education is still a great tool to fighting drugs in our city. "

Mayor Daley and I encourage the citizens of Chicago to visit the exhibit and learn how they can help end the heartbreak of drugs, " Tandy added.

The exhibit, featured at the Museum of Science and Industry from August 11 to December 3, 2006, explores the impact of illicit drugs and their cost to society and provides an important look at how each visitor can work to break the cycle of drug abuse and drug-related violence. It also gives a never-before seen look at the shadowy world of narco-terrorism and the connections between terrorists and drug traffickers.

Target America " begins with an introductory area, paying tribute to victims killed by terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The exhibit moves to an in-depth look at drug production and narco-terrorism. It explores the opium and heroin connections in Afghanistan, looks at the global impact of drugs and terror and presents an overview of some of the consequences of drugs to the human body and communities. Visitors will see artifacts from ground zero " and the Pentagon; explore many interactive kiosks; learn about drug trafficking in Illinois; step inside replicas of actual working methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine labs; and be able to stop by the Discovery Corner for educational take-home resources and more.

Target America " is being presented in Chicago by McDonald`s. The exhibit was developed in partnership with The Association of Former Federal Narcotics Agents (AFFNA) DEA Museum Foundation, The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), The National Guard, The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and The Partnership for a Drug Free America.

The exhibit premiered September 11, 2002, at the DEA Museum in Arlington, Virginia, and has received more than 600,000 visitors in Dallas, Texas; Omaha, Nebraska; New York, New York; and Detroit, Michigan. The touring exhibit will be at Chicago`s Museum of Science and Industry before traveling to other cities, including Los Angeles, Boston and Atlanta.

A formal ribbon cutting ceremony will be followed by a press conference held by DEA Administrator Karen P. Tandy. Ms. Tandy will discuss the opening of the exhibit, its potential impact, and the importance of law enforcement, education and treatment. Phil Cline, Superintendent, Chicago PD; Peter Bensinger, DEA Museum Foundation; Ken Barun, Senior VP of McDonald`s Corporation; and David Mosena, President and CEO of MSI will also speak and take questions.

Location:   The Museum of Science and Industry
57th Street and Lake Shore Drive
Exhibit Hall, West Pavilion
Chicago, Illinois 60637
Time:   Thursday, August 10, 2006
8:00 AM -- The Target America Exhibit will be open for B-Roll footage of the DEA Exhibit and interviews with experts
10:15 AM -- Ribbon cutting ceremony photo opportunity
10:30 AM -- Press conference begins

If you have questions or need further information, please contact DEA Public Affairs at 202-307-7977. Note: PRESS CREDENTIALS REQUIRED

Note: The Museum of Science and Industry, at 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive, is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and on Sunday from 11:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m. The Target America " Exhibit, in the West Pavilion, is included in general admission.

Source: DEA