National DEC Honors Collaboration Leadership

photo of DEC winners

The COPS Office would like to congratulate the winners of the 2013 Collaborative Leadership Award presented at the 2013 National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children Conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Each winner promotes effective collaborative partnerships across agencies over a sustained period of time; demonstrates leadership in facilitating relationships at multiple levels within an organization; promotes the implementation of policies and protocols that improve responses for drug endangered children; and displays professional and personal strengths that advance multidisciplinary collaboration through innovative strategies. Read more about each outstanding collaborative leader:

Dub Turner, Education and DEC Program Administrator, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics; and Vanessa Price, Oklahoma City Police Department (ret.)

Together Mr. Turner and Mrs. Price have co-presented at virtually every DEC training as a team across Oklahoma. They have worked together to create collaborations with state and local leaders as well as fostering connections with the tribal communities. In 2011, Mr. Turner and Mrs. Price provided instrumental work on convincing the Oklahoma State Legislature and Governor Fallin to add a definition of a drug endangered child into state law, the first and only in the country.

Sara Wilhelm, Social Work Supervisor, Division of Quality and Planning, Connecticut Department of Children and Families

Ms. Wilhelm played a crucial role in establishing and expanding the Connecticut DEC alliance. She established a DEC representative in all Department of Children and Families field offices in Connecticut. Ms. Wilhelm is a steadfast advocate for DEC in the state, all while maintaining her primary duties with the department.

Amber Neff, Coordinator for the Statewide Native American Coalition, Nevada DEC Alliance; and Monty Williams, Executive Director for the Statewide Native American Coalition, Nevada DEC Alliance

Ms. Neff and Mr. Williams recognize that we must all move from being aware of the problem of drug endangered children to taking action to intervene in the lives of these children. They were instrumental in working with the Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada to pass a resolution to formalize the response to DEC. Together they have become the catalyst for the much needed collaboration that is now ongoing throughout tribal country in Nevada, and are in the beginning stages of creating a Nevada Tribal DEC Alliance.

Heather Dickinson, Corporal, Drugs and Organized Crime Awareness Coordinator, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Corporal Dickinson’s passion for DEC can be seen by the growing awareness and action on behalf of children in Ontario, Canada. She coordinates DEC training for community partners and works tirelessly to bring the DEC messaging to all corners of Ontario. Among her many partnerships, she is currently collaborating with the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police to develop DEC awareness and training, to include law protocols and checklists.

Justin Mazzeo, DEC Coordinator for the Texas Alliance for Drug Endangered Children, Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Mr. Mazzeo has been a strong advocate for DEC since he began his work in 2007, over the years he has directly trained or facilitated trainings for more than 8,000 Texas professionals and helped create and/or support 30 multidisciplinary alliances across the state. He is intensely passionate about protecting and defending children living in volatile drug environments to the point that he has given his own time and personal financial resources to ensure that the Texas Alliance remains strong.

For more information about the award, please visit Congratulations to all the 2013 DEC Collaborative Leadership Award recipients!

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One on One With...Director Ron Davis | Spotlight on a Powerful Training Collaboration | 2013 National DEC Winners | San Diego and the Southwest Border | New Challenges for Law Enforcement