LaSalle Parish Deputy Sheriff and DARE Officer Jenny Parker of Jena was recently appointed to the state DARE Advisory Board by Governor Bobby Jindal. Deputy Parker was employed by LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Scott Franklin early last year as LaSalle’s DARE Officer and completed her first full year in the position during the past school year. Parker, a 15-year DARE officer, was also recently elected as the President of the Louisiana DARE Officers Association (LDOA). Prior to her new LDOA position, Parker served as the LDOA’s Secretary, First Vice-President and Vice-President. Her new title as President allowed for her appointment as part of the 13-member Advisory Board. “I am honored and excited to serve on the Advisory Board as a liaison between it and the LDOA,” Parker said. “It will be extra work that I am happy to be a part of.”

                The DARE Advisory Board serves to develop, promote, monitor and evaluate the DARE Program throughout the state of Louisiana and regulate the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement regarding the performance of its duties in relation to the DARE Program. Other eligible for appointment to the Board include: a representative from the Governor’s Drug Policy Board, two members from the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association, two members from the Louisiana Chiefs of Police Association, two members from the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement, a principal representing a Louisiana Public School, a teacher representing a Louisiana Elementary School, and three members representing community interests.

                At the Advisory Board meeting, there was a lot of insight I gained into the board and what they do and their commitment to keeping DARE a strong and effective program for our children,” Parker said. “They are committed to serving our children in this state and I am glad to be a part of it. Parker also announced the recent appointment of Fellowship Elementary Principal, Brandy Brunson, as the Education Advisor for the La. DARE Officers Association. The LDOA holds quarterly meetings for DARE officers, as well as works with the La. DARE Officers’ training Conference which will be  held July 2014 in Pineville. “[Brunson] was appointed to the LDOA to contribute educational insight for our officers. She will also participate in our annual training conference,” Parker said. “Her love of children, experience and leadership as well as her dedication to excellence makes her an asset to our board and the members of the association. We are glad to have her on board.”

                Sheriff Franklin said he named Parker as LaSalle DARE Officer after careful research into her past record revealed that she was one of the “top” DARE officers in the state and nation. “I am delighted that Jenny has been named to the state DARE Advisory Board and know she will represent our department and others well,” Franklin said. “Jenny’s ability to relate to the needs of students as they are taught through the DARE program  is unequaled. I don’t know of any other DARE officer that possesses the qualities demonstrated by Deputy Parker as she performs her duties.” “We are proud that she chose the invitation to join our department and feel she is a great asset to us and the children of this parish,” he said.