Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong is being honored by D.A.R.E America and the Drug Enforcement Agency as the 2015 DEA/D.A.R.E Law Enforcement Executive of the Year.
The award is given to a law enforcement officer who is committed to drug prevention and enforcement.
“I am really honored, but I am more so thankful for the tremendous relationship that we have between our school district and the Sheriff’s Office and of the people who work and carry our the drug policies of our department,” Furlong said.
Furlong said that though he is the one being presented the award, it took the efforts of many community members to be able to successfully enact and continue the D.A.R.E America program is Carson City.
“While it is my name is on it, it is really a great reflection of our town,” Furlong said.
Organizations such as Grocery Outlet, The Emblem Club, and the Downtown Business Association all contribute and donate to keep D.A.R.E America in Carson City schools. Furlong also credits the teachers for allowing the officers into their classrooms and to Deputy Lisa Davis, the D.A.R.E officer for taking the time to teach the kids about the dangers of drugs.
“These kids spend so much time with teachers and hopefully with law enforcement and the influences out there are tremendous and if we don’t stand beside our kids, who will?” Furlong said. “If we don’t talk to them about these things then we leave them confused.”
“The kids are our future,” Furlong added. “Investment in their earliest stages is our responsibility (to keep them from doing drugs and other destructive behaviors).”
The D.A.R.E programs were reinstated during Furlong’s first term in office, and has grown to cover more than just substance abuse, but it deals with choosing positive life choices and teaches about dangers such as bullying, violence prevention, internet use and peer pressure.
Anthony Williams, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Los Angeles Field Division, stated in a press release that, “Sheriff Furlong is a man of vision, action and results-a sheriff who walks his community with tremendous compassion and love-always expecting to improve the quality of life.”
Furlong isn’t the only one is the department who has been nationally recognized for their participation in the D.A.R.E America programs, Davis also has been selected as D.A.R.E America Officer of the Year in 2011 and 2012 and is beginning her third term as president of the D.A.R.E Officer Association.
Furlong will be presented the award by a senior executive of the DEA and president of D.A.R.E America at the annual D.A.R.E America International Conference in New Orleans in August where he also will be presented with a $1,000 check. Furlong said he will be putting the money back toward the D.A.R.E America program.
The downside to the award is that the Sheriff will miss National Night Out, an important night for the community and law enforcement.
“I apologize to our community for missing National Night Out,” Furlong said. “I am struggling with where do I belong, in New Orleans accepting this for our community or at Mills Park with our community.”
The community and deputies are extremely proud and thankful to receive this award because Carson City will be internationally recognized at the conference in August, Davis said.
“It is just fantastic, it is such an affirmation of all of our hard work that we put into this program and to be recognized is incredible,” Davis said. “Carson City isn’t that big of a place and here we are producing results that is getting us international results. It is just so rewarding, it is phenomenal.”