May 15, 2011
Project Lifesaver is a program now available to Smyth County citizens through
the Smyth County Sheriff's Office.
Smyth County Sheriff's Office
Crime Prevention Division
Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.)
Deputy Ginger Johnson is assigned as the County’s D.A.R.E. officer. The
D.A.R.E. program was adopted by the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1986. Smyth
County implemented the program in 1987. The purpose of D.A.R.E. is a united
effort by D.A.R.E., Certified Law Enforcement Officers, educators, students,
parents, and the community to offer an educational program in the classroom
to prevent or reduce drug abuse, violence, and gang involvement among
|The D.A.R.E. program is divided into two sections, one for Kindergarten
through 4th grade and the other for the 5th graders.
The program follows a carefully structured curriculum, focusing on topics such as personal safety, drug use and misuse, consequences of behavior, resisting peer pressure, building self-esteem, assertiveness training, managing stress without drugs, role models, and support systems.
D.A.R.E. is only a tool, it takes everyone (parents, schools, police, concerned citizens and the media) working together to save our children from the devastation of drugs and violence.
The D.A.R.E. officer is assigned to the Neighborhood Watch program, which is a part of crime prevention. Deputy Johnson plans meetings with community members to discuss neighborhood problems and solutions.
The basis of Neighborhood Watch is observation and reporting. Neighborhood Watch sets up a communication network between the Sheriff’s Office and the community.
Operation Safety is a program of the Sheriff's Office designed to give a daily welfare call to senior citizens in the county. This program identifies those that live in our community who are seniors that do not have family or neighbors that routinely check on their welfare. Once they are identified, certain emergency contact information is obtained from the senior along with other important information. This information is then passed to volunteers, who will call the senior citizens twice a day. If a senior citizen is unreachable, the volunteer will notify the Sheriff's Office and an officer is dispatched to investigate. It is our desire that this will prevent seniors from not having anyone to assist them in a time of need.
To be placed in our program, call dispatch at the Sheriff's Office at 276-782-4056.
School Rescource Officers
The Smyth County Sheriff’s Office has three full time school resource officers (SRO) assigned to the three local high schools (Marion High, Chilhowie High and Northwood High).
Tony Powers, Sgt. Marion High School
Ernie Atwell, Sgt. Chilhowie High School
Mark Harrington Northwood High School
School Resource Officer (SRO) programs have been in schools since the 1960's in the United States. The placement of law enforcement officers in schools has grown tremendously over the past decade; this increased dramatically following the school shootings of the late 1990s. Smyth County implemented the program in 1998.
Some of the duties of an SRO include:
· Meet with school board administration to discuss disciplinary action for students using school policy and state law.
· Meet with students individually and in groups to promote respectful, law abiding behavior.
· Provide security and maintain order
· Prevent criminal activity
· Investigate criminal activity that occurs on school property.
· Complete crime reports for school-related incidents.
· Issue citations and make arrests.
· Give classroom presentations on crime prevention and related topics.
· Provide security at school functions
SRO efforts to reduce crime, drug abuse, and violence provide a safer and more secure learning environment for our students and school staff.