A new group of police officers and sheriff?s deputies, including one from DeKalb County, graduated Friday from D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) training conducted by the Tennessee Department of Safety.
Tim Hearn of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department was among the graduates.
Sheriff Patrick Ray says he is proud of Officer Hearn's accomplishments. \"Tim is an outstanding officer with good morals and ethics. He works very well with children.\"
Hearn and his wife Shelley have two young children, Jaycee and Jayden.
The culmination exercise was held at the Sheraton Music City Hotel in Nashville.
Tennessee began its 37 th D.A.R.E. Officer Training on November 25 th at the Sheraton Music City Hotel. The training is conducted by the Highway Patrol?s internationally recognized D.A.R.E. unit. The instructors teach a two-week course that certifies law enforcement officers in the Elementary and Middle School D.A.R.E. curricula.
The 22 officers who completed the course represent 20 Tennessee law enforcement agencies, one from Chandler , Arizona and the Caribbean island of St. Maarten , Netherland Antilles. Upon completion of the training, the officers are also trained to assume duties as School Resource Officers (SRO?s) in their communities.
?The D.A.R.E. program is important in the fight against drug use by young people,? said THP Commander Colonel Mike Walker. ?Its success in keeping children and teens away from drugs is recognized across the United States , and around the world.?
D.A.R.E. is in its 24 th year and is taught in all 50 states plus some 54 foreign countries. Since 1990, the THP has conducted dozens of D.A.R.E. Training Seminars in Nashville . The classes have prepared more than a thousand officers to work with young people on drug education. D.A.R.E. focuses on responsibility and resistance to peer pressure. It targets communication and refusal skills, decision-making skills and awareness about drugs and health. D.A.R.E. programs across Tennessee reach approximately 80% of all school systems, and an estimated 50-thousand children each year.
?D.A.R.E.?s success proves that early intervention helps keep kids away from drugs,? said THP Lieutenant Leonard Moudy, Tennessee ?s D.A.R.E. coordinator. He adds ?the curriculum is demanding and comprehensive. Lt. Moudy attended the culmination exercise along with Lt. Col Strawther and Captain Don Nicholson.