Site helps Kansas just say no

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation's Special Operations Division launched a Web site this month to supplement the bureau's anti-drug work.

The site (www.ink.org/public/drugenforcement) offers information on how people can help Kansas law enforcement officials fight drugs, including tips on how to report drug activity and how to identify illegal drugs such as marijuana and methamphetamines. It also provides links to local, state and federal anti-drug organizations and law enforcement authorities.

Kyle Smith, a bureau spokesman, said the Web site is the next logical step in the state's drug-fighting efforts. It will build on the success of the bureau's toll-free number, which has been effective for a while.

"We wanted to make our efforts more interactive and expand the ways in which we can reach people with important information about drug activity in the state," Smith said.

To minimize costs, he said the bureau worked with Web designers from the Kansas Information Technology Office (da.state.ks.us/kito) and the Information Network of Kansas Inc. (www.accesskansas.org/about-ink.html).

"I think the biggest hoop we had to jump through was the anonymity question," Smith said. "We've always had the ability to trace phone calls when they come in, but from our perspective, it'd be stupid of us to do so. It's that anonymity that gets people comfortable enough to call and drop the dime on a dealer."

To ensure the anonymity of e-mail messages sent through the site, the Division of Information Systems and Communications agreed to receive the e-mails. Staff members will strip all sender information from the messages, save them to a disk and pass them on to the bureau each day.

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