Two new officers join the D.A.R.E. team

TUPELO – For the first time in nearly 10 years, the Tupelo Police Department has more than one D.A.R.E. officer.
Two new officers have been certified – Chamila Brown and David Harville.
Tupelo Police Capt. Ikey Carmack, who also is commander of the school resource officers, expects the new leaders to breathe new life into the program.
Until now, Carmack also was the department’s only D.A.R.E. officer.
“I’m the supervisor of the SRO unit and I was the lone D.A.R.E. officer, so I wasn’t able to put all my attention into one thing,” said Carmack. “Being tied up in a classroom didn’t allow a lot of time for me to handle some of my other duties as a supervisor, but with those two being certified, the program can expand and grow like never before.”
Brown is a nine–year veteran of the police force and has spent much of that time as an SRO. But being a D.A.R.E. officer will allow her to work with the students on a one-on-one basis.
“Capt. Carmack has been doing this by himself for years, so it took two of us to take his place,” joked Brown. “But this is going allow myself and Harville to really bring in some new ideas and some new blood to a program that is very beneficial to the students.”
D.A.R.E is a 10-week course for fifth-graders, but with the two new instruction, Ikey said, more classroom visits to students in lower grades will be added to the program.
“The energy they are bringing in is tremendous,” Carmack said. “They have really hit the ground running and the students will benefit from it.”
Harville also that in his fourth week of teaching, he has learned a lot.
“D.A.R.E. teaches us just as much as it teaches the kids,” said Harville. “We learn as they learn and that’s the good thing about this program.”

Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or danza.johnson@djournal.com.

Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal