The 2014 Georgia D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Officer’s Association summer training conference begins Monday in Thomasville.
From 50 to 60 D.A.R.E. officers from throughout Georgia will come to Thomasville, many with their families, and spend the week in the community, said Capt. Steven Jones, Thomas County Sheriff’s’ Office public information officer and D.A.R.E. instructor.
Hosted by the Thomas County Sheriff’s Office, the conference ends Friday.
Jones and sheriff’s office Sgt. Leila Spires teach D.A.R.E. classes in the Thomas County School System.
DARE officers teach fifth-graders the D.A.R.E. curriculum about health effects of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana. “The curriculum focuses on making good decisions,” Jones explained.
“Visiting D.A.R.E. officers will spend their days in training classes and their evenings at various planned events around Thomasville and Thomas County,” Jones said.
Thomasville Police Department, along with the Thomasville Visitors Center, have played major roles in planning and helping host the event, said Jones.
All classroom training will take place at Thomas County Central High School.
A parade and car show will take place Wednesday, when D.A.R.E. vehicles will leave the Hampton Inn about 4:45 p.m., parade along East Jackson Street and end on North Broad Street in front of the historical Thomas County Courthouse.
Said Jones, “We encourage citizens and especially children to come and see different D.A.R.E. vehicles from around the state, most of which are purchased with money seized from drug dealers.”
Spectators will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite car. Cars will remain in the courthouse area until 5:30 or later, depending on the crowd.
“I am excited to host the training conference this year. I have attended this training all over the state and have made lifelong friends in D.A.R.E. I ask the community to welcome these officers and let them know how much you appreciate what they are doing for our children,” Jones said.
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820.