Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Southlake Police Department Celebrates Sgt. Blas Hernandez

The Southlake Police School Resource Officer Program continues to shine as a world-class SRO Program, locally and nationally. On March 20, 2023, Sgt. Blas Hernandez was recognized as the 2023 L.E.A.D. Instructor of the Year Award. Law Enforcement Against Drugs (L.E.A.D.) is a non-profit organization, supported by dedicated police officers, committed to protecting youth and communities from the proliferation of drugs, drug-related crimes, peer-to-peer/cyber bullying and violence.

In 2020, Sgt. Hernandez and Matt Petrie, a retired SRO and former DARE Officer, began the quest for educational programs that specifically target drug safety in schools. While steeped in research, Sgt. Hernandez discovered the L.E.A.D. program while completing his master’s degree in Criminology.

When asked why a program like L.E.A.D. is important to have in our schools, Sgt. Hernandez said, “The first 5-weeks of the curriculum focus on character building and I chose L.E.A.D. because it focuses more on developing confident and resilient kids as well as equipping them with the tools needed for drug resistance. After reviewing several drug safety programs, L.E.A.D. was my top choice.”

In 2022, with overwhelming support from the City of Southlake Crime Control Prevention District board members, SPD purchased its first L.E.A.D drug resistance education curriculum which is currently offered as an elective course available to 4th, 6th and 8th grade students in Carroll ISD.