KENILWORTH, NJ — Law Enforcement Against Drugs, a national nonprofit organization committed to protecting children from the risks of drugs and bullying, awarded retired Police Sgt. Anthony Manderichio from Kenilworth its L.E.A.D. Lifetime Achievement Award on Friday, July 16.
“We want to congratulate Sgt. Manderichio on his tremendous dedication toward instructing officers on the L.E.A.D. curricula, ‘Too Good for Drugs and Too Good for Violence,’” said Nick DeMauro, executive director and chief executive officer of L.E.A.D. “Sgt. Manderichio is a dedicated member of our family, and we commend him on demonstrating lifetime achievement in promoting school-based policing and police–community relations.”
Supported by dedicated police officers, L.E.A.D. provides leadership and resources, so law enforcement agencies can partner with educators, community leaders and families to present its anti-drug, anti-violence curriculum for students in kindergarten through grade 12. Throughout the course of the 10-week program, officers such as those that Manderichio trained teach the L.E.A.D. curriculum to educate youths on how they can make smart decisions without the involvement of drugs. L.E.A.D. currently operates in 33 states across the country.
Manderichio spent five years training police officers throughout the United States for L.E.A.D. He asserts that it is the best program in terms of preventing children from becoming addicted to drugs and violence.
“It is a program that is not only accepted by police officers, educators and parents, but by the children it is being taught to as well,” Manderichio said.
He also explained how L.E.A.D. is crucial, in the sense of allowing children to develop a rapport with their local police officers.
“By having a meaningful experience with police officers due to L.E.A.D., children are more likely to talk to them about problems they are going through or even just become less afraid,” he said. “While students K-12 take up a large part of the program, children’s teachers and parents become involved as well, which also helps to change their outlook on the police force in a positive fashion.”
Manderichio said that being able to stay involved has been one of the most rewarding aspects of training police officers for L.E.A.D. Ultimately, he said he is elated that the program allows police officers to demonstrate the purposeful impact they are capable of having on children, parents and teachers, more now than ever.