|
|
|
|
The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Police Department preparing to reboot youth anti-drug program

  • The Leavenworth Police Department is preparing to relaunch its Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, after going a year without an officer assigned to the anti-drug role.
    • email print
  • The Leavenworth Police Department is preparing to relaunch its Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, after going a year without an officer assigned to the anti-drug role.
    Johnny Sweet, 43, a veteran law enforcement officer, has been named the Police Department's new DARE officer. He will begin teaching the program to fifth-graders following winter break, at the start of second semester.
    "We'll get it ramped back up," Sweet said.
    The Police Department has been unable to offer the ant-drug program to local schools since Mark Lingenfelser retired from the department in fall 2012.
    Lingenfelser oversaw the DARE program for the Police Department for 20 years.
    "It's an important program that we've always supported," said Maj. Dan Nicodemus, Police Department deputy chief. The department is pleased to resume the program, he added.
    Sweet was earmarked as the new DARE officer in August.
    He's completed a two-week DARE officer training course, but he won't officially begin his new role until January.
    Sweet has been a member of the Police Department for 17 years. He has assisted with the Police Department's annual DARE summer camp for 14 years.
    "I just enjoy working with the kids," he said.
    Having worked in policing narcotics for eight or nine years, Sweet said he's educated enough on the subject that he can talk to students about the affects drugs have on people.
    "I feel I can teach them something from my point of view," he said.
    Sweet already has experience teaching a lesson for the DARE program in Des Moines, Iowa, as part of his training to be a DARE officer.
    "The kids took to it more than I thought they would," he said of the out-of-state experience.
    Sweet plans to begin teaching the program to fifth-graders at West Intermediate School and eventually expand to Richard W. Warren Middle School.
    He said he will be teaching a new DARE curriculum called "Keeping It R.E.A.L.," or Refuse, Explain, Avoid and Leave.
    After retiring from the Police Department, Lingenfelser took a job with the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office.
    In the spring, he taught the DARE program to students at Xavier Catholic School.

      • calendar