DEA agents visit school for Red Ribbon Week

Mark Keppel Elementary students tried on 20-pound bulletproof vests, got a close look at rifles and climbed in a police car during an assembly to celebrate Red Ribbon Week.

On Monday afternoon, eight U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents showed Keppel students what agents use on the job, including unmarked cars and metal tools to pry open locked gates and doors.

Glendale Police Officer Maribel Feeley pushed a button on her belt that remotely opened her patrol car's back seat. Waiting there to hear Feeley's command was Yudy, her 8-year-old German-born police dog.

“Her name is Officer Yudy,” Feeley told Keppel's first-graders. “She catches a lot of bad guys, and she helps me find a lot of bad drugs. Her nose is probably a million times stronger than yours.”

Parent volunteer Kim Fedrick reached out to the special agents about speaking to Mark Keppel students.

“They see that here are these agents out there working on that end of things making sure [drugs] don't come in,” Fedrick said.

Red Ribbon Week honors Enrique Camarena, an undercover DEA agent kidnapped, tortured and murdered in Mexico in 1985 by that country's drug cartels.

“Camarena Clubs” launched in 1985 in Calexico, Calif., with members wearing red ribbons and pledging to live without drugs.

The red-ribbon program spread into schools under then-First Lady Nancy Reagan and parent organizations.

“It's good for the kids to see what the agents do,” Fedrick said. “Look at these great citizens that are taking the time to make sure that our neighborhoods are safe, that our country is safe, from these drugs that are not positive to the kids that don't help them do anything to succeed in school or life.”

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