The officers of the Etowah County’s School Resource Officers Division pose with Sheriff Jonathon Horton and Etowah County Schools Superintendent Alan Cosby. The ECSO, the Etowah County School System and the Etowah County Commission share the costs of providing SROs in county schools.

The Etowah County Sheriff’s Office played a large part in getting ready for back to school, working with the Mississippi/Alabama Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program to host a D.A.R.E. Officer Training Conference during the last two weeks.

Etowah County’s School Resource Officer Division will be delivering the drug education program in county schools during the 2020-2021 school year, Sheriff Jonathon Horton said, after 14 SROs graduated the training and are now certified to teach the curriculum in the schools they protect.

“It has been a milestone to see each county school be represented by D.A.R.E. — a standard of excellence,” Horton said in a press release. “The journey that began for me as (police) chief in Rainbow City to put D.A.R.E. back in our schools, has been completed.

“I look forward to the benefits for years to come as we partner with D.A.R.E. and each municipality that protects our children,” the sheriff said. “The Etowah County Sheriff’s Office is steadfast in investing heavily in the future of our young people.

Horton said in selecting SROs to work with Etowah County students and school personnel, the sheriff’s office looks for those who are “willing to go the extra mile to engage with students.” While the officers’ primary responsibility is to secure schools from harm, he said they also fill a role as a guest speaker, a teacher and a positive mentor.

“D.A.R.E. also allows students the opportunity to gain a trustworthy adult friend/mentor while developing a positive relationship with law enforcement,” he said.

“We want to equip students with good decision-making skills that they may be as successful as possible in life,” Lt. Justin Plunkett said.

D.A.R.E. officer training was extensive. It consisted of an 80-hour instruction period to train the officers on delivering the D.A.R.E. curriculum accurately and effectively. Officers are trained by a state educator on the three types of teaching/learning abilities: auditory, visual and kinesthetic.

It was demanding training, Horton said, with strict requirements on attendance, attention, and interaction. Officers had homework to do, and worked in small groups outside of main instructional time to achieve the status of D.A.R.E. Officer — and not everyone who participates in the training is able to receive that honor.

From The Gadsden Times

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Copyright © 2020 D.A.R.E. America. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © 2020 D.A.R.E. America.
All Rights Reserved.