L.E.A.D. (Law Enforcement Against Drugs & Violence), a nationwide nonprofit that works with communities to help students understand the dangers of drugs and violence, awarded “National Corporate Administrator of the Year” to Kevin Haney, a resident in Point Pleasant and CEO of Colliers Engineering & Design. The award was announced at L.E.A.D.’s Eighth Annual 21st Century Drug and Violence Prevention Training Conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It was presented to Haney for his excellent work as First Vice Chair on L.E.A.D.’s Executive Board, whose role is helping students throughout the country to be educated, during the school day, on the proven-effective curriculum implemented by L.E.A.D.
“Kevin’s award is well deserved, and we congratulate him on his contributions to our organization as First Vice Chair,” said Nick DeMauro, CEO of L.E.A.D. “Kevin is an integral part of our Executive Board, and we can confidently say that his commitment and service is continuing to help us accomplish our goal of preventing kids from becoming involved with alcohol, drugs and violence as well strengthening police-community relationships.”
L.E.A.D. provides services “On the Street” and “In the Classroom” as it brings law enforcement and communities closer together. The “In the Classroom” program is taught by 3800 trained instructors in 41 states. L.E.A.D. has a proven effective, law enforcement-focused anti–drug, anti–violence curriculum for K-12 students in the U.S. The L.E.A.D. curriculum is taught over the course of a 10-week program to educate youth on how they can make smart decisions without the involvement of drugs or violence.
Haney has been involved with L.E.A.D. for about five years. He started out as a member on the program’s Advisory Board and was elected as an Executive Board member about three years ago, and he just became L.E.A.D.’s First Vice Chair last year. Haney says the reason he wanted to become involved with the organization was to be part of something that works toward having a positive impact on today’s youth.
“I’m sure that every family has been affected with drug abuse, drug overdose or bullying in some way, shape or form. When I discovered L.E.A.D. and found out that it teaches students about the negative effects of drugs and violence through an evidence-based curriculum, I knew I wanted to get involved so I could help to stop tragedies from occurring,” he said. “I knew that I wanted to help drive the direction of L.E.A.D. and grow the program when someone very close to my family tragically died of a drug overdose at the age of 23, so I’m grateful that I was named to the Executive Board.”
The interaction between school children and their School Resource Officers (SROs) teaching the L.E.A.D. program is helping to advance the bond between law enforcement and communities, according to Haney.
“As the program continues to be implemented into various schools across the country, more students have the opportunity to learn from and get to know their SROs on a personal level. Since the SROs are in the classroom for educational rather than disciplinary purposes, the children are able to see the good that they bring to their communities, instead of viewing their presence as authoritative,” said Haney. “Additionally, by providing Digital Threat Assessment (DTA) training for police departments and school personnel to learn how to recognize bullying and violence through engaging with popular social media platforms, in addition to emphasizing the importance of alcohol and drug prevention, L.E.A.D. is helping to create safer, more unified communities.”
Knowing he’s helping the organization to set kids up for success throughout the rest of their school careers and beyond is the aspect that Haney finds most rewarding about L.E.A.D.
“It’s heartwarming to be part of an organization where the staff works tirelessly to instill knowledge within students that becoming involved with alcohol, drugs or violence will hinder their futures,” said Haney. “L.E.A.D. provides a comprehensive curriculum that can have a large impact on children’s lives. If the work that I’ve put in has prevented at least one student from going down a bad path with any sort of harmful substance, I know that I’ve done my job.”
L.E.A.D. provides the leadership, resources and management to ensure law enforcement agencies have the means to partner with educators, community leaders and families. L.E.A.D. succeeds by providing proven effective programs to deter youth and adults from drug use, drug related crimes, bullying and violence. L.E.A.D. is committed to reinforcing the mutual respect, goodwill and relations between law enforcement and their communities. For more information, visit https://www.leadrugs.org/.