Officer Richard Anderson is August’s Coalition Member of the Month
Riverhead Police Officer Richard Anderson is August’s Coalition Member of the Month, representing our Law Enforcement Sector since 2014. Officer Anderson grew up in Riverhead and graduated from Riverhead High School. He attended SUNY Cobleskill where he received an associate degree before joining the Riverhead Police Department in 1996. During his career, he has had the opportunity to work in the Community Oriented Police Enforcement (COPE) Unit, as well as the East End Drug Taskforce, Drug Court, and Youth Court. He was recently promoted to the Detective Division. He is also an active member of the Dive/Rescue Team.
Leading the charge to prevent prescription drug abuse
While in charge of the Property/Evidence Bureau at the Riverhead Police Department, Officer Anderson was asked to assist the Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth with the Medication Take Back Program. He is a driving force in preventing and reducing youth prescription drug use. Officer Anderson has been instrumental in the safe collection of nearly 7,000 pounds of medication. This is through the combination of take back events and the permanent drop box, which is located in the lobby of the Riverhead Police Department. Since we began implementing these initiatives, we’ve seen a significant decrease in the number of Riverhead High School 12th graders who report using prescription narcotics in the past 30 days as measured by the Bach Harrison Prevention Needs Assessment Survey (7.5% in 2008 to 1.5% in 2018).
Riverhead Community Coalition Coordinator Kelly Miloski sat down with Officer Richard Anderson to talk about his experience with the coalition.
Here are the highlights:
- Why did you become involved in the coalition?
“I became involved in the coalition when I was asked to assist with the Prescription Medication Take Back program, and embraced the opportunity when asked to participate. I believe that the program is crucial to help and guide our community members on how to dispose of medication properly so that we can prevent and reduce prescription drug abuse. As a police officer, I have witnessed firsthand the rise in prescription drug abuse in the community. I enjoy being part of the coalition as it allows me to interact with the young volunteers, and it helps build relationships between the community and the Riverhead Police Department.”
- What is your favorite coalition activity?
“My favorite coalition activity is assisting with the Medication Take Back events. It allows me the opportunity to work with the coalition, interact with the community, and educate residents about the importance of properly disposing of medication. These events also help me get valuable feedback from community members on how to make Riverhead a safer place to live.”
- Name three words that best describe you.
“Honest, reliable, and selfless.”
- Besides coalition work, what else do you like to do?
“Besides coalition work, I enjoy spending time with my family. I also like to participate in outdoor activities such as golf, bike riding, snowmobiling, and skiing.”
Interested in learning more about coalition membership?
Contact Kelly Miloski at (631) 727-3722 ext. 106 or Kelly.Miloski@RiverheadCAP.org.