Deputy Matt Kirby with K9 Renko and Deputy Aaron Chadwick
Bay Elementary held its 5th grade DARE graduation at the end of the school year, complete with guest speaker, Deputy Matt Kirby and his K9 partner, Renko. There were awards presented, and a bike was the grand prize.
Deputy Matt Kirby and K9 Renko were on hand to demonstrate how a K9 handler and the dog interact. Deputy Kirby explained to the kids and the crowd of parents that showed up to support their children, that a dog has about 200 MILLION scent receptors, the cells that allow the nose to detect the odor. To put that into perspective, that's about 40 times more than what the human nose has, at just 5 million scent receptors. Renko is trained to track, detect drugs, and is also a "bite" dog. After opening the floor to Q & A, Deputy Kirby and Deputy Chadwick demonstrated how they train with the commands. Chadwick put on the bite sleeve, which is comprised of padding and jute, and Kirby gave the command. Renko took off and went straight for that arm, and took it right off. It's always amazing to watch.
After the demonstration, awards were presented for the best essay for each class, the best essay overall (prize is an iPod shuffle), the student that most represents what DARE means, and a random name is drawn to win the bike. Kids were given extra opportunities to win if they scored 100 or above on the final test.
Essay winner Ms. Johnson's- Katie Padgett
Essay winner Mr. Justin's- Ashlyn Higgins
Essay winners- Ashlyn Higgins and Katie Padgett
Overall winner- Ashlyn Higgins
Daren winner- Faith Muntz
Distracted Driving is more dangerous than drunk driving, and the Craighead County Sheriff's Office showed the high school students that both were deadly. Using a course of traffic cones and special goggles that trick the mind to feel intoxicated, the students used a golf cart to maneuver through the course. The Deputies taught this class at Buffalo Island Central at Monette, Riverside at Lake City, and Brookland High School this month.
The Craighead County Sheriff's Office Deputies visited Visual and Performing Arts School and Westside Elementary School this past week for Career Days. There were several other companies and agencies on site, but as always, the kids love the MRAP. The Deputies really enjoy interacting with the kids, especially during these events. The kids are able get up close, hold and touch the equipment the SWAT team uses, and the Deputies explained how each tool was used.
Westside Elementary held its annual DARE Graduation on Friday May 4, 2018. This year was different than years past is many ways. First, there were so many kids! There are six groups of fifth graders now, and that means there were six essay winners, and two Daren winners, one for each teacher.
The guest speaker was Deputy Brock McFarlin and his K9, Arko. Arko answers to commands in Dutch, and Deputy McFarlin demonstrated some of those commands for the kids. He explained that Arko is a tracker, a drug detection dog, and a "bite" dog. This is a valuable asset to the Craighead County Sheriff's Office, and both Arko and Deputy McFarlin are required to maintain training schedules monthly to keep them both sharp, and certified. Deputy Aaron Chadwick was brave enough to wear the bite sleeve so the crowd could see how Arko behaves when he is in that mode of his job.
Each of the kids received a graduation certificate, but they all were vying to be the essay winner. Deputy Jamey Carter read each and every essay, and narrowed down the class to four or five kids from which to pick the winner.
Ms. Still's Group 1: Abby Gregson, Abigale Hall, Emerson Kimberling, Sianna Rucker, and Brianna Hollinworth.
Still Group 2: Carlos Coronado, Hannah Kelley, Autumn Ray, Abbigale Tittle, and Bo Watson.
Still Group 3: Hunter Drummonds, Kylee Gean, Hayden Snell, and Daegen Spicer.
Ms. Mashburn' Group 1: Weston Honeycutt, Michael Orrick, Elizabeth Scott, and Hannah Tate
Mashburn Group 2: keylee Chesser, Christopher Hogan, Rylee Lemley, William White
Mashburn Group 3: Parker Hutchinson, Abigail James, Kurstin Owens, Rhyannon Sullins
Of these, Officer Jamey, as he is so affectionately called, chose one winner of each group, and one winner overall.
Essay Winners Group
Overall Essay Winner-Abbigale Tittle
The Daren is awarded to the kid who most exemplified what DARE means, and the student is nominated by his or her teacher.
The Class Trophy went to Ms. Still's Group 2, with an average test score of 103.75 of a possible 105, with the bonus question.
Abby Gregson won the bike, and I have never seen a kid more excited to win something!
Bike Winner-Abby Gregson
The most poignant part of the program was the DARE Teacher of the Year Award. This award is based on the entire Craighead County DARE school systems: Bay, Brookland, BIC, Riverside, and Westside. Ms. Still has won this award four of the seven years the program has been in place. This is also Ms. Still's last year teaching; she will retire at the end of the school year. She was presented with an award in honor and recognition for her hard work and dedication to the success of the DARE program. Thank you for making a difference in so many lives.
Ms. Cathy Still-DARE Teacher of the Year 2018
Ms. Still is retiring...
A special Thank You! to Medic One Ambulance Service for providing the shirts throughout the schools, Parker Road Walmart for the cakes, and Westside PTO for the stacks of pizza! DARE provided the sodas and ice cream.
This weekend was the 3rd Annual Badges for Backpacks food drive to benefit the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas' elderly and childhood food programs.
How the Backpack Program works:
On the last day of the school week, program enrolled children pick up a backpack filled with food for the weekend. The backpacks are filled with easy-to-prepare meals and snacks and are provided to children in a safe and discreet manner. These students take their backpacks home, knowing they will have food for the weekend. Items are included for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack for Saturday and Sunday.
The Craighead County Sheriff's Office set up outside Kroger on Saturday from 8-5, and gathered donations. Windmill Rice donated a pallet of rice!
You provided a total of 7,912 meals! Your food donations totaled up to 5,037 pounds and your monetary donations totaled $928.51. Thank you, Northeast Arkansas; your generosity will be well received by hundreds of families.
RAID Supports DARE 2018 Softball Tournament is in the books and girls from all over the region converged upon Jonesboro for two (mostly) beautiful days of softball. The decision to cut the tournament a day short was made early this year due to rain in the forecast, and it was a good call.
DARE is a supported solely on donations, and this tournament provides a large amount of the operating revenue for the program. The Craighead County DARE program has one DARE officer, Corporal Jamey Carter, and serves 5th and 7th grades at Bay, Brookland, BIC, Riverside, and Westside schools.
If you would like to know how you can help with the success of the DARE program, email Deputy Carter at email@example.com.
Thank you to all the sponsors and volunteers. This would not be possible without your help!
L to R: Deputy M. Kirby, Deputy J. Teague, Gov. Asa Hutchinson,
Deputy B. Hollis, Deputy J. Watson
Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington sponsored a Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner last night, May 1, 2018, to "recognize the law enforcement men and women in the Second Judicial District." The dinner was held at the First National Bank Arena, more commonly known as the Convocation Center, and dinner was provided by John 3:16 Ministries. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson was the special guest, and there were door prizes for the attendees. Cruse Uniforms and Equipment donated a Glock pistol to be given as one of the door prizes.
The Second Judicial District covers all of Northeast Arkansas, including Clay, Greene, Craighead, Poinsett, Mississippi, and Crittenden Counties.
Yesterday, May 1, 2018, Craighead County Sheriff's Office held a send-off for Corporal Bob Sharp, after nearly 18 years with the department. Corporal Sharp had already retired from the Jonesboro Fire Department as a Captain, after spending 24 years in service as a fireman. Corporal Sharp dedicated nearly forty years as a civil servant, and in service to the public in some form or another.
You are missed already, Bobby. Enjoy your retirement. It is well deserved.
Sheriff Marty Boyd- Arkansas Public Official of the Year 2018
L-R: Dr. Cheryl Knight, Sheriff Marty Boyd, Dr. Tamara Glover
The National Association of Social Workers announced Sheriff Marty Boyd for their Arkansas Public Elected Official of the Year for 2018. He was chosen for this award based on several projects he has been involved with over the past years, but specifically his dedication to the mental health issues that affect so many in Arkansas. Doctors Cheryl Knight and Tamara Glover, professors with Arkansas State University College of Social Work, nominated Sheriff Boyd for this distinguished award. They, too, were honored by the NASW for their hard work and persistence to further the awareness of social work in the community.
Specifically, Sheriff Boyd was instrumental in passing Act 423, effectively establishing crisis stabilization units, training for law enforcement officers, and promoting all law enforcement officers to continuing education on recognizing and intervention with mental health and crisis intervention protocol.
As a board member of the Arkansas Sheriff's Association, Sheriff Boyd was able to work towards CIT Training (Crisis Intervention Team) is, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health, "model for community policing that brings together law enforcement, mental health providers, hospital emergency departments and individuals with mental illness and their families to improve responses to people in crisis. CIT programs enhance communication, identify mental health resources for assisting people in crisis and ensure that officers get the training and support that they need."
Sheriff Boyd was also instrumental in the decision made by Governor Asa Hutchinson to open four Crisis Stabilization Units (CSU) across the state, including here in Criaghead County. Included in this declaration was a $5 million proposed budget with an increased $14 million budget to ensure the CSUs would be established. The purpose of these units is to have a place for law enforcement officers to hold non-violent offenders who are experiencing a mental health crisis, other than jail.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has announced Rutledge Resources Day, Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at the Craighead County Cooperative Extension Office, located at 611 East Washington Ave., Jonesboro, AR. This is where the Attorney General hosts their Mobile Office, and offers classes for residents that are educational and timely.
The schedule for the Resources Day is as follows:
Mobile Office: 10:30am -12:00pm
Prescription Drug Take Back: 10:30am -12:00pm
Law Enforcement Partner-Sheriff Marty Boyd
Prescription for Life Presentation: 11:30am-12:00pm
For more information on this and other events with the Attorney General, you can find them at ArkansasAG.gov, or you can call them at 800-482-8982.