Date: March 21, 2001 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact: Michal Shanley, 863 534-6631 or 819-0397 pager

Sheriff Crow to Speak At S.A.V.E. Graduation for Mulberry Middle School Students

Polk County Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr., will be a guest speaker at the 
S.A.V.E. graduation ceremony for Mulberry Middle School students to be held 
at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 20, 2001, in the school cafeteria/auditorium. 
The S.A.V.E. program - which stands for Substance Abuse and Violence 
Education - is a school-based 10-week program designed to address the issue 
of substance abuse and other problems youth encounter, such as violence, 
gang resistance, and cultural diversity.

In recognition of their successful completion of the S.A.V.E. program, 89 
Mulberry Middle School students will receive graduation certificates and 
S.A.V.E. T-Shirts. A trophy also will be awarded to the winner of the 
S.A.V.E. essay contest - a contest in which students write essays describing 
what they have learned in the program. Sheriff Crow will speak to the 
students about the importance of what they have learned in the S.A.V.E. 
program: to say no to drugs, violence, and gangs, and to appreciate each 
other's differences and learn to settle conflicts in a productive manner. 

Sheriff Crow has been a long-time supporter of school-based programs 
involving law enforcement officers. As a result, the Polk County Sheriff's 
Office created the S.A.V.E. program in 1994. Since that time, Sheriff's 
Office School Resource Deputies have taught the curriculum to sixth graders 
at the middle schools in the unincorporated areas of Polk County. 

The S.A.V.E. program eventually expanded outside Polk County with officers 
from other counties and police jurisdictions receiving instructor training. 
S.A.V.E. was deemed an exemplary program by C.A.L.E.A. (Commission on 
Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc.) when the Polk County 
Sheriff's Office received National Accreditation status in November 1994. 
For more information on the S.A.V.E. program, call the School Resource 
Office at 863 534-0980.

School Resource Officer Gordy Scherer is assigned to Mulberry Middle School 
and serves as the S.A.V.E. instructor. The school is located at 500 9th 
Avenue SE in Mulberry.

Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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