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Published on April 3rd, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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Richland County Sheriff’s Department New Educational Tool

Pictured DARE Educational Vehicle and Sergeant George Godfrey

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott is excited to announce the latest Richland County Sheriff’s Department D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) educational Cruiser.

After State funding for D.A.R.E was discontinued in 2003, the program was inevitably going to end. However, Sheriff Leon Lott was not willing to allow that to happen and ultimately the Richland County Sheriff’s Department became the State Training Center for D.A.R.E. As a result, thanks goes out in part to the Sheriff for having the vision and foresight to see the importance of having D.A.R.E. as a part of the educational system in South Carolina . In keeping with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department’s mission to succeed with the D.A.R.E. Program, School Resource Officers who teach D.A.R.E. are continuously coming up with innovative ways to catch the attention and reach our youth. Given that SRO’s are surrounded by and interact with today’s youth almost everyday, they are able to keep up with what sparks their interest, which brought the idea for the D.A.R.E. Cruiser. Sheriff Leon Lott states that the cruiser is a fun, eye catching tool that will be used to grab the attention of students to get them interested in D.A.R.E. and deputies can teach them about the dangers of drugs, gangs, and violence. The Sheriff states that it is extremely important to talk to our youth, and to get them steered in a positive direction. It is our goal, our hope, and our desire to assist our youth, to show them how to reach their goals in life. Far too many times, the wrong glitz and glamour grabs hold of their attention, so with the use of our cruiser we want to grab their attention before the bad element has a chance.

Sheriff Leon Lott states that the D.A.R.E. Cruiser has been taken offline and transitioned into this educational purpose. Sheriff Leon Lott adds that the department was able to re-purpose the vehicle through confiscated drug money, not tax dollars. The vehicle includes a very detailed paint job, audio system, special tired and rims, and changing neon lighting that shows from under the vehicle. However, the paint job was generously donated by team Paco of Body Mender Collision and the audio system was installed by Ultimate Audio. Sheriff Leon Lott and the Richland County Sheriff’s Department give both businesses a special thank you for their outstanding work and support of the department’s mission to save our youth.

Sheriff Leon Lott states that he is committed to continuing the positive work that the D.A.R.E Program accomplishes. The Sheriff adds that it is critical to provide this service to the public so that our youth can receive the assistance they need to become successful in their adult lives. Sheriff Leon Lott commends all those who work hard to keep the D.A.R.E. Program alive and thriving in South Carolina , as well as for their dedication to the youth who benefit from this effective program.

Sheriff Leon Lott states that the D.A.R.E. educational vehicle is a tool for the entire community and therefore is available upon request for schools and community events. In addition, demonstrations can also be schedule to be given at the Richland County Sheriff’s Department Headquarters located at 5623 Two Notch Road , Columbia , SC. For more information or to make a request to have the D.A.R.E. educational vehicle present for your event, please contact Sergeant George Godfrey at (803) 309-1622 or at GGodfrey@rcsd.net.

Deputy Katelyn Jasak
Office of Public Information
Richland County Sheriff’s Department

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