MANSFIELD, LA (KSLA) - The DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office has a 2018 Tahoe that is catching eyes and sparking conversation. Sheriff Jayson Richardson says the newly designed D.A.R.E truck allows officers to have more interactions with children. He said he wants to let kids know that officers are people you can approach.
The truck allows that type of interaction because of all of the bells and whistles like a gaming system in the back.
Sgt. Natasha Jones drives the truck the majority of the time. She also spends a lot of time at DeSoto Parish Schools educating kids about D.A.R.E, peer pressure and bullying. Her goal is to try and maintain a drug-free parish. “There are a lot of adolescent kids exposed to drugs more than we actual think or understand," said Jones.
D.A.R.E stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education. The DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office rolled out the truck a few months ago.
It’s digitally wrapped with a picture of the DeSoto Parish sheriff’s badge, slogans like “Keepin’ It Real,” plus Darren the lion.
However, the most popular part of the truck is in the trunk where there’s a video gaming system with a booming sound system. When Jones visits schools, after having instruction with the students, she allows the kids to play on the gaming system.
Richardson says the truck is doing everything they want it to do and that is bridge the gap between citizens and law enforcement. “The more interactions we create with those children, the more comfortable they are with us when they grow up.”
The DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office often brings the truck to Shriners Hospital so that patients can see all of the activities in the truck.