On July 19 – 22, 2010 the Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office DARE Officer, Deputy Chris Brown, along with Capt. Tommy Nicholson, Sgt. Gerald Ford and Inv. Randy Harris attended the 2010 International DARE Training Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. The conference featured extensive training sessions, excellent speakers and breakout training session for specific categories. There were also activities offered after training hours such as bowling tournaments, community service projects and a Cincinnati Reds home game against the Washington Nationals. On Tuesday, July 20 there was a ten block parade through downtown Cincinnati.
But the highlight for our team was the DARE vehicle show and competition. There were 23 vehicles entered in five classes; 2 Door Driven Dailey, 4 Door Driven Daily, Pickup/SUV/Van, Specialty and Motor Cycle. Entrants came from as far away as Florida and Texas. There were 5 entries in the Pickup/SUV/Van class with our Ford F150 Harley Davidson Edition truck.
After placing “First in Class” in our category against five entries, we went on to take “Best in Show” against the other classes. The competition was heavy in the finals as the other vehicles included two motorcycles, several Dodge Chargers and Challengers, a Chrysler 300M, a Ford Mustang and a Chevrolet Corvette. Some of these vehicles had video games and TVs installed but they proved to be no competition for our ostrich skin upholstery and “Sploater” (spinner/floater) wheels.
This was the first time this competition had a category for “Kid’s Choice”. Approximately 100 middle school age children from Cincinnati area schools attended the show adding much excitement and fun to the event. The children also chose our truck as their favorite making it a clean sweep. This is our favorite of the awards because we were chosen by the kids and after all DARE is all about the kids.
It was appropriate that Capt. Nicholson, Sgt. Ford and Inv. Harris attended the conference and vehicle show with Deputy Brown as they are all members of our drug crimes unit and our DARE truck is an asset forfeiture program seized vehicle. In fact, the truck proclaims as part of the graphics design that it was “Seized From Your Local Drug Dealer”.
This is the first time a vehicle has taken all of the awards in this event.