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Sheriff Cunningham is shown here presenting Corporal Kofee Anderson with the trophy Corporal Anderson was awarded upon being named 2015 D.A.R.E. officer of the year for the state of Alabama. The photograph (by Montgomery Advertiser reporter Drew Taylor) accompanied an article written by Mr. Taylor which appeared in the Advertiser.  Mr. Taylor writes in part:      “…Sheriff Derrick Cunningham and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office take pride in its Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D. A. R. E.) Program, to keep school children off drugs.  ‘It means a lot to be proactive when it comes to our youth, especially when we’re looking at what all is taking place in the spotlight,’ Cunningham said.

Over the past 10 weeks, students in the Super Citizen Program have been learning about civics, character, financial literacy and our Great American Story. To put character in context, classes were challenged to identify people in the community who exemplified the qualities they are learning. Students at Catoma Elementary School in Montgomery Alabama recognized Cpl. Kofee Anderson of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office for his significant contributions that he has made to the community and the lives of those around him. Equally important is the example he has set for our young Americans to follow.

Cpl. Kofee Anderson, a 17-year veteran with the department, has taught D.A.R.E. classes in rural Montgomery County schools for 16 years.  In May, 2015, it was announced that he was the D. A. R. E. Officer of the Year for Alabama …in addition to his everyday duties with the department, Anderson teaches D. A. R. E. classes September through December and January through May.  Anderson said his philosophy on teaching kids about drug use is centered on decisions and what students need to know about themselves in order to make those decisions.  ‘They have to be smart enough and comfortable enough to say no, which means they have to have enough self-esteem in themselves in order to make those kinds of decisions,’ Anderson said.  However, Anderson said children need to understand more than just what to stay away from. ‘It’s good to teach kids about drugs and how to stay away from them, but it more important for the kids to understand the consequences.”

The Macon East 5th grade class recently completed their first semester D.A.R.E. course led each year by Corporal Kofee Anderson. Launched in 1983, D.A.R.E. is a comprehensive K-12 education program taught in thousands of schools in America and 52 other countries. D.A.R.E. curricula address drugs, violence, bullying, internet safety, and other high risk circumstances that today are too often a part of students’ lives. D.A.R.E. envisions a world in which students everywhere are empowered to respect others and choose to lead lives free from violence, substance abuse, and other dangerous behaviors. At the conclusion of the course, participants each wrote an essay about what they learned and how it will impact their lives. At the awards ceremony, Kaiden Byrom and Kayce Rutland were honored for Best Essay. Anna Watson was recognized as Top Student for the course, and Corporal Anderson selected Spurlin Culpepper as Most Improved. We thank Corporal Anderson for his dedication to the Macon East students. He is truly a part of our Knight family.