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TAZEWELL COUNTY, VA (WOAY) – Deputy Landon Hieatt of the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office was recognized at the 2019 Virginia School Safety Training Forum in Hampton, Virginia on Wednesday, July 31, 2019, as the recipient of the Bentowski-Eanes Virginia D.A.R.E. Officer of the Year award.

He was one of a number of Nominees that were looked at from across the Commonwealth. Deputy Hieatt is a four year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office and has been a D.A.R.E. officer for three years. During this time, he has taken on the responsibility of teaching the DARE program at the elementary and middle school levels. The D.A.R.E. program, and it’s over two hundred D.A.R.E. Officers Statewide, not only educate students about violence, bullying, alcohol, and tobacco but has allowed Deputy Hieatt to build relationships with students throughout the county.

“He invests in these children on a daily basis and works diligently in the schools to make them a better place.” States Corporal Glen Keen, who supervises the D.A.R.E. Program in Tazewell County. In addition to teaching the D.A.R.E. Program, Deputy Hieatt also volunteers a lot his of time making community-oriented videos for the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office, helping to make a positive impact between law enforcement and the citizens of Tazewell County through social media. He Graduated from the Southwest Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy in Bristol Virginia, attended D.A.R.E. Officer Training through the North Carolina D.A.R.E. Association, and is also a Certified School Resource Officer and works as an SRO securing our schools when not teaching D.A.R.E.

Deputy Hieatt is planning to further his involvement with the D.A.R.E. program by seeking a position on the Virginia Dare Association Board. By doing this, he could potentially expand his impact as a D.A.R.E. officer on the state level. “I am confident that we have the best school safety program in all of southwest Virginia, and seeing Landon get this State Award is just one more piece of evidence to support that conclusion,” said David Woodard, Chairman of the Tazewell County Public Schools.