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    Riverside County approves $356K to conduct awareness campaigns for fentanyl, fireworks

    By City News Service,

    2024-06-11
    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1yePjN_0toDfAOU00

    The Board of Supervisors today approved two contracts with a media marketing firm totaling $356,000 to conduct summer public awareness campaigns emphasizing the penalties for illegal use of fireworks in Riverside County and the dangers of fentanyl.

    The board signed off on the compacts sought by the Executive Office with Fountain Valley-based 3 Olives Media LLC to handle social media, traditional media and other messaging focused on anti-fentanyl advertising and fireworks education outreach.

    The two agreements will be in effect until July 31, though they could be extended into the fall if necessary. The same media company was retained for campaigns last year.

    "A robust public information campaign regarding the use of illegal fireworks and enforcement programs will enhance the safety of our communities by lessening associated risks,'' according to an Executive Office statement. "Fentanyl has become a public health crisis that continues to affect the residents of Riverside County. This marketing campaign is intended to raise awareness of the dangers of fentanyl and prevent fentanyl deaths."

    District Attorney Mike Hestrin told the board Monday there were at least 550 fentanyl-related fatalities countywide last year, compared to 503 in 2022.

    The new awareness campaign will combine the use of public service announcements via social media with roadside digital billboards and broadcast messages utilizing satellite radio, AM/FM radio and cable television. The PSAs will be in both English and Spanish, generally 30 seconds in duration, warning of the ways the smallest amount of fentanyl can kill.

    The fireworks education program will focus on highlighting the county's regulations on pyrotechnics and the penalties that can be assessed for igniting them around the Fourth of July, or any other time of year.

    The outreach effort is predicated on the message, "You Light It, We Write It," referring to the potential for steep fines in connection with illegally igniting fireworks.

    In April 2021, the Office of County Counsel, in collaboration with the Riverside County Sheriff's Department and Cal Fire, drafted amendments to long-standing regulations codified under county Ordinance No. 858 prohibiting illegal pyrotechnics.

    Under the amendments, higher civil penalties were established, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. The amount depends on the number of violations within a 36-month period. The previous fines were between $500 and $1,000.

    The revisions also created liabilities for property owners who knowingly permit someone to light illegal fireworks, further increasing penalties.

    This year's awareness campaign will function much the same as the anti- fentanyl messaging, relying on roadside digital billboards, newspaper space, satellite radio, conventional radio and social media to reach residents.

    The post Riverside County approves $356K to conduct awareness campaigns for fentanyl, fireworks appeared first on KESQ .

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