The 'N crowd
A chance meeting with pop's big-name boy band
gives sheriff's captain something to sing about........
By David C.L. Bauer
When it comes to "what I did on my summer vacation," Warren County Sheriff's Capt. Joe Jakub holds the trump card.
Try, oh, just hangin' with the band 'Nsync.
As in the pop music boy band 'Nsync that has sold tens of millions of records since its 1998 debut.
As in the Lance Bass, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone, Chris Kirkpatrick and Justin Timberlake 'Nsync, whose self-titled first album spawned four No. 1 hits and catapulted the band to status of teenage heartthrobs.
Let's flash back to June in Kansas City, Mo., where Jakub was attending the National Sheriffs' Association annual meeting to watch as his boss, Sheriff Jerry "Peanuts" Gaines, was inducted as president of the national organization.
During his stay at a Kansas City hotel, Jakub's years of law enforcement expertise - coupled with the throngs of screaming teenyboppers - told him there was something unusual going on.
That something, he found out while talking to others at the hotel, was that the band was staying there before performing at Kemper Arena in support of its latest album, "No Strings Attached."
The more he listened to some of the conversations, the more an idea formed.
"I've heard of 'Nsync, but I didn't realize how important they were to the kids," said Jakub, who for seven years has been in charge of DARE, Warren County's anti-drug initiative.
Jakub thought the band might be good enlistees in his fight against drugs and did his homework to make sure. He became impressed with what he said was the morality and responsibility of the band members.
"I realized how influential 'Nsync was and thought if I could get a photo with the group, I could use it to relate to (the kids) more," he said.
So he set out on a mission that might seem a little harder than getting Fort Knox to hand over its gold.
It worked, with a lot of help following a well-placed call to the band's production manager.
Later, as thousands of fans started to pour into the arena to hear 'Nsync pound out such songs as "Bye Bye Bye" and "God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You," Jakub and his attention-grabbing DARE Corvette were pulling into the backstage parking area.
"We got to hang out with them for quite a while they were doing some other things backstage," Jakub recalls.
"The energy level these guys have is phenomenal. Even prior to the show, they were really up."
He told the band members about his work with drug education and answered their questions about the centerpiece Corvette as each took a turn sliding into the sports car interior to check it out.
Then another idea formed: What would be the chances of hauling his trusty camcorder from the back seat and getting the band to record a little anti-drug message?
"They said 'sure' because they really believe in DARE," Jakub said. "They support DARE and what we do."
The program reaches about 1,000 to 1,500 Warren County students a year while in school, but also sponsors programs outside of the classroom as a way to show it's possible to have fun without using drugs. It targets middle school pupils, relying on straight information instead of a campaign of just saying "don't do it."
Jakub is editing 'Nsync's comments into a video he thinks will help further DARE's message during the coming school year.
"You know and I know if you tell a kid 'don't do it, don't do it,' they may not, but they may just to challenge you. I just try to show them the reality of drugs," Jakub said.
"You have to believe in it - the kids can read that and they are the first ones who can tell if you're a phony."
This article is a reprint of the original from the Bowling Green Daily News http://www.bgdailynews.com/ Monday, July 31, 2000 edition.