L.E.A.D. Campers with School Resource Officers and Camp Volunteers
The officers of the Anderson County Law Enforcement Against Drugs (L.E.A.D.) program teach 5th grade students in Anderson County about drug and violence prevention throughout the school year. We are proud to have the program sponsored by the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department and Anderson County Schools.
The goal of the L.E.A.D. program is to create safer, healthier communities free of drugs, bullying, and violence. L.E.A.D. promotes and supports law enforcement services and their role in teaching adolescents about preventing drugs and violence. As School Resource Officers (SROs) and in regular patrol, we witness the effects of substances on our community and in our schools every single day. That is why it is so important for kids to get these lessons early, so that whenever they face peer pressure, they have the skills to refuse.
One of the great things about L.E.A.D. is the collaboration with community organizations, educators, and families. As SROs, we get the opportunity to work with ASAP of Anderson on a lot of different things, like safe, good decision making on prom night and ASAP Youth Ambassador activities throughout the school year. When we decided to plan a L.E.A.D. Summer Leadership Camp, we knew we wanted to involve ASAP. In early June, the L.E.A.D. program partnered with ASAP, Anderson County Schools Coordinated School Health, and several other community organizations to host a free three-day camp for graduates of the 2018 L.E.A.D. program that included a Safety Day, Health Day, Olympics, and Celebration Day. We appreciate ASAP’s sponsorship and help throughout the camp, and look forward to their involvement next year.
Currently, there are four SROs in Anderson County certified to teach L.E.A.D. – Sgt. Wendy Garrison, Cpl. Paul Day, Deputy Chris Templeton, and myself (Deputy Kim Lay). We are proud that approximately 400 5th grade students graduated from the program in 2018 in all nine elementary schools. We are planning to host another L.E.A.D. Leadership Camp next year where event more students can learn how to protect themselves from drugs and violence, and of course have lots of fun! Learn more about the L.E.A.D. Program at www.leadrugs.org.
Deputy Kim Lay
Program Administrator, LEAD TN Chapter