Pubdate: Fri, 15 Jul 2005
Source: Morris Daily Herald (IL)
Copyright: 2005 Morris Daily Herald
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)
Bookmark: (Youth)


Receives President's Award From State Group

Sgt. Jeff Cole, the Drug Abuse Resistance Education officer for the
Grundy County Sheriff's Department, has received a state award.

At the recent state meeting in Moline, Sgt. Cole received the Illinois
DARE Officers Association (IDOA) President's award. Kim Frasier of
Algonquin, the outgoing president of the IDOA, chose Sgt. Cole for the

The Grundy County Sheriff's Department has had a DARE program since
1989, serving the schools in the county outside of Morris and Coal
City. In December of 1991, Sgt. Cole was named the department's
full-time DARE officer. After completing training, he taught his first
DARE class in the spring of 1992.

Frasier, who is now past-president, said she began in DARE about the
same time as Sgt. Cole and, over the years, saw that he was involved
in many of the same activities and attended many of the same meetings
she did.

"Everywhere I went, I would see Jeff," she said "He is very dedicated
to the program and has worked with the executive board."

"He is not only dedicated to the community, but also at the state
level," she added. Sgt. Cole has served as Sergeant at Arms for the
executive board, at the Midwest Regional Training Center, as a DARE
mentor and, in 1997, a senior DARE mentor.

Sgt. Cole said there are people who are "dreammakers," and for him,
that person was the late Sheriff James Olson. "He hired me as a deputy
on my 28th birthday, and then made me the full-time DARE officer,"
said Cole.

Sheriff Olson, Cole said, was very dedicated to the DARE program and
was one of the few sheriffs in the state to complete the DARE training

Sgt. Cole said Sheriff Terry Marketti has continued that commitment to
the DARE program.

"There are departments cutting the DARE program for financial
reasons," Sgt. Cole said. "We are very fortunate here to have the
commitment and support for the program."

Frasier noted the program is owned by DARE American in

"Sgt. Cole has been willing to question the program (with DARE
America), to ask why the program is the way it is. There are not too
many people out there willing to do that," she said.

Sgt. Cole said the DARE program is designed for first-, third- and
fifth-grade students, with the core curriculum presented to fifth graders.

As a full-time DARE officer for 14 years, Sgt. Cole said he has been
able to build a rapport with the students. He noted the students in
his first classes have now graduated from college, but many come back
and talk to him about the program and what it meant to them.

Frasier said the award is only given in years when the president feels
there is someone deserving of it. For her term, there was no question
Sgt. Cole was deserving of the award, she said. 
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