No Place to Hide


Police from neighboring departments learn how to set up the Hidden in Plain Sight trailer to use in their towns. /Photo: Judy Macoskey

We want to tell you about Mt. Lebanon’s new Hidden in Plain Sight trailer, which is a cooperative project between the Mt. Lebanon nonprofit Outreach Teen & Family Services and the Mt. Lebanon Police Department. We want to tell you how this trailer teaches you how to recognize if your child may be hiding drugs in his or her room and how normal, everyday things can store an awful lot of really bad things.

But that’s just it. If we tell you all about the trailer, you’ll know the secrets and it will spoil your motivation to look for clues. So you’re just going to have to carve out a little time to see it for yourself.

The Hidden in Plain Sight trailer, powered by a generator and transported by hitch on a truck, contains all the amenities of a typical teenager’s room: clothing, grooming supplies, furniture and sports equipment. Groups who go through the trailer program will first try to find as many things as they can that could contain drugs and look for other signs that the kid partakes in illegal drug use. After a short time, police or counselors will come clean and show everything. Counselors from Outreach will then be available to explain the next steps to parents who may have just realized their child’s room holds some of these items.

The trailer was completely paid for through several grants: $16,398 from PNC Charitable Trust and $5,000 from St. Clair Hospital. The furniture came from a $1,000 gift card donated from Bob’s Discount Furniture.

Local police departments may borrow the trailer for free if they’d like to hold a demonstration in their town. Outreach counselors are available to travel as well, for the cost of $100. The Mt. Lebanon Police recommend that option, as it’s intended to provide a complete course of action for parents and other members of the community.

If you’d like the trailer program at your event, call Mt. Lebanon Police Cpl. Jeff Kite at 412-343-4068.