On the Spot: Former ATF, SWAT agent warns against using drugs at Red Ribbon Week Kickoff Breakfast


Ale Ceniceros

Coppell, Carrollton, Farmers Branch and Addison citizens have breakfast yesterday morning at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in Coppelll. The Coppell Chamber of Commerce hosted the 2017 Red Ribbon Breakfast in order to spread awareness against the use of drugs.

Amelia Vanyo, Editor-In-Chief

In 1985, America lost a great man to a silent but deadly war. Kiki Camerena did not go in the way most people do in the war on drugs. He went not as a user, but a fighter, an undercover agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration.


Residents of Coppell, Carrolton, Addison and Farmers Branch, including students, community leaders, sponsors, and law enforcement came together to remember Camarena’s fight and to strengthen his resolve as it lives on through teens who fight the peer pressure and temptation of drug use every day.


On Monday, the Coppell Chamber of Commerce hosted the annual Red Ribbon Week Kickoff Breakfast at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in Coppell.


“I bring a somber message but it must be told.” DEA agent Steve Laird said “We celebrate [Camarena’s] life today. We are here because of a death that occurred.”


The event featured keynote speaker former Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) agent Hector Tarango.


“I speak to groups all the time to keep them safe,” Tarango said. “I hope the message is look beyond yourself, look beyond the thrill of getting some sort of a high from a drug. If we don’t fix that now, we have a lot of problems now, but we’re going to have a lot more.”


CISD Superintendent Brad Hunt made sure to point out the other ways in which the district hopes to spread awareness of drug usage to students who were not able to attend the breakfast.


“Coppell celebrates Red Ribbon Week, and that is something we have been doing for probably the past 27 years,” Hunt said. “With dress up days and announcements and things that are happening in the classroom, I think are areas that will help us with awareness.”


Coppell ISD is also hosting a Drug Trends and Awareness presentation in the Coppell High School Lecture Hall on Thursday at 6 p.m.