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Drug resource officers placed in county schools

By By LYDIA GRIMES-Features writer
With cooperation between the Escambia County Sheriff's Department and the Escambia County Board of Education, the county middle schools will have new resource officers this year.
County Deputies Adam Johnson, Larry Smith and Shaun Golden attended D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) and S.R.O. (School Resource Officer) training in Oklahoma City, Okla. in June. Johnson will be at Flomaton Middle School, Golden at Atmore Middle School and Smith at W.S. Neal Middle School.
Funding for the three officers was received from local organizations. The Escambia County Board of Education provided for one officer, the Escambia County Commission provided for a second officer and the Finlay Foundation, Neal Trust and McMillan Trust provided for the third officer. W.S. Neal Middle School has welcomed deputy Smith and set him up in his own office at the school.
Smith has been in law enforcement since 1971 and served as an officer with the Brewton Police Department for six years. He then went to Grove Hill where he served as police chief for seven years. He has been with the Escambia County Sheriff's Department for 10 years.
Golden's first experience with Law Enforcement was in Conecuh County where he was a Correctional Officer for one year. He then went to the Andalusia Police Department for one year before transferring to the Brewton Police Department. While there, he attended the Montgomery Police Academy. He stayed with Brewton Police Department for three and a half years and has been with the sheriff's office for two years.
D.A.R.E. was established in 1983 and is a cooperative program being conducted by law enforcement and the schools to prevent drug abuse and help students learn to make healthy decisions. The primary objective is directed to developing the capacities to enable students to take charge of their lives with an emphasis on healthy, pro-social decision making skills regarding non substance use and abuse.