AAD, Newport News Police Department & Newport News Sheriff’s Office Win U.S. Department of Justice Award

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) announced the Newport News Police Department, Newport News Sheriff’s Office, and An Achievable Dream, Inc. as the winners of the 2017 L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award for their partnership to help children succeed in education. Only one award is presented annually, the winner chosen from 50 applicants nationwide.

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.

Click the image below to see WAVY TV 10’s coverage of the event.

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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.”

– COPS Office Director Phil Keith.

“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.”

– Dr. Lee Vreeland, Vice President of Academics/COO, An Achievable Dream

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.