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KSD School Resource Officer : Protecting and Educating

Captain Mark Gilmore is the School Resource Officer for Kosciusko School District. He has been a police officer for 20 years, a D.A.R.E. officer for 18 years and the KSD's School Resource Officer for 15 years. Captain Gilmore is also a D.A.R.E. Instructor for the State of Mississippi and Alabama Training Center, as well as an Active Shooter Instructor.

D.A.R.E. is the national symbol for the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program which, in partnership with police officers, parents and schools is in use throughout the United States. As the D.A.R.E officer, Gilmore wants to portray a positive image of law enforcement in the schools, which in this day and age, is more important than ever. He wants students and the community to know law enforcement officers are there to help them. Kids face a lot of peer pressure and education is key.

As the KSD D.A.R.E. officer, Gilmore educates students by visiting their classrooms and providing group activities. Depending on the grade level, he covers topics such as drug abuse resistance, making safe and responsible decisions, internet safety, awareness of surroundings and promoting the D.A.R.E America curriculum. All fifth graders complete a 10-week program. During the 10-week session, the program provides students with the skills necessary to recognize and resist pressures to experiment with drugs and to avoid gangs and violence. Lessons emphasize self-esteem, decision making, interpersonal communications skills, the consequences of drug abuse, conflict resolution and positive alternatives to substance abuse.