In a special ceremony at An Achievable Dream Middle and High School, AAD President and CEO Kathy Edwards and Lee Vreeland, AAD Vice President of Academics and COO, accepted this award along with Newport News Sheriff Gabe Morgan and Acting Police Chief Michael Grinstead.
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During the program, attended by Department of Justice officials, local law enforcement, AAD board members, and community supporters, students presented a showcase of their regular morning program, including greeting law enforcement with handshakes, uniform inspections, and reciting positive affirmations. AAD 8th-grader Tashara Jones spoke about the importance of law enforcement partnerships to the students.
“Students at An Achievable Dream benefit not only from learning and mastering their rigorous coursework, but also from being able to establish positive relationships with law enforcement. An Achievable Dream serves as an excellent model for communities nationwide seeking to bridge the gap between law enforcement and youth.”
“Our students have had the great fortune of developing positive relationships with law enforcement officers who have served as mentors and confidants on a daily basis.”
The L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award is named in memory of Tony Sutin, who served as a founder and deputy director of the COPS Office from its creation in 1994 to 1996. This annual award is bestowed upon a collaborative team of law enforcement and community members whose innovative civic interactions have transformed public safety in their community. The ideal nominee creates community collaborations that are innovative, creative and transformative; displays civic leadership through problem solving and collaborative partnerships; and promotes public safety through dedication to the community policing philosophy.