L.E.A.D. (Law Enforcement Officer Against Drugs) selects Clayton as School of the Month
Clayton Police Department has been selected by the L.E.A.D. organization to be featured in their upcoming April Newsletter. L.E.A.D. staff advised that the Clayton Police Department was selected because of their dedication, enthusiasm, and desire to make a positive impact on their community.
Chief Andrew Davis of the Clayton Police Department, upon being sworn into office in August of 2016, immediately worked to put a proven educational program in place at Clayton Public Schools. The Program selected was L.E.A.D. L.E.A.D. not only addresses educating school age children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol but also about a variety of other dangers that face kids every day, such as peer pressure and bullying. L.E.A.D. is the only proven effective K-12 drug and violence prevention curriculum taught by law enforcement in NJ.
The Program was supported and endorsed by Superintendant Nick Koutsogiannis, Herma Simmons Elementary Principal Scott Uribe, Clayton Mayor Thomas Bianco along with Clayton’s other Council Members. Chief Davis stated, “I am so fortunate to have such a great working relationship with these administrators. Their passion and desire to provide the best educational experience for Clayton students is admirable.”
L.E.A.D. is currently being taught to approximately 125 5th grade students at the Herma Simmons Elementary School. There are 4 trained LEAD Officers; Ptlm. Donavun Rhodes, Ptlm. Nicholas Carr, Ptlm. Edward Hyder, and Pltm. Eduardo Diaz. The officers are all patrolmen who volunteered to take on the added responsibility that goes with being a LEAD officer. Chief Davis stated, “At one time or another, officers have to teach on their days off, sacrificing their own personal and family time to teach our students. Most of the classroom preparation also falls on the officers’ time off. The officers’ level of dedication and commitment to the students is inspiring.”
LEAD is taught during 10 separate classroom visits by the police. At the end of the year, a graduation celebration will take place for the students that have completed the program. The Clayton Police Department is currently in the process of hiring a SLEO-3 officer (School Resource Officer). The Police Department hopes to expand the program to the 8th grade level once the SLEO-3 officer is hired and trained.