News from the desk of Sheriff James Potter

"The Sheriff's Role for the Youth in Our Community"

In this second article in my series I want to discuss the Sheriff’s role in their community concerning law enforcement’s impact on our youth. 

The Sheriff’s goal is to create an environment in our community where children are never involved in crime and violence, however it can be challenging to completely eliminate these negative situations. At the Sheriff’s Office we work as a team to enhance law enforcement efforts and engagement through support programs, community involvement, and by maintaining a positive relationship between the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office and our youth.

One of the main avenues we use to accomplish a positive relationship with our youth is our DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Deputies Program.  Deputies work by serving in five of the six schools across the county. Each school and individual student has different needs, and the School Resource Deputies (SRD) are there to assist the student while developing a positive law enforcement relationship. SRDs conduct classroom presentations to educate the youth at a young age on subjects including law-related education, crime and violence prevention, driving safety, and alcohol and drug prevention. The SRD Program is just one of the support programs and a part of the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office dedication to serving our youth. The SRD Program allows our deputies to focus on the quality of life within the school and the community the school serves. As Sheriff I continuously thrive to be proactive, safety conscious and community-oriented within the school system.

At the Sheriff’s Office we strongly believe in encouraging our youth through positive engagement and fostering trust.  This trust of law enforcement carries on through a child’s life as they grow into adults.  As part of our commitment to the youth of DeSoto County, our deputies and I have devoted countless hours to this community in support of our youth. From Sheriff’s Office community events such as Shop with the Sheriff, Teen Driver Challenge, School Supply Donation Drop-Off, Safe Trick or Treat Drive Through, National Night Out and the Youth Bike Safety Rodeo, the Sheriff’s Office is committed to the safety and wellbeing of our youth in the community. We also look for, partner, support and participate with other organizations that prioritize positive youth orientated programs.  

As Sheriff, providing child safety information to the public for situations including child car seat safety, bicycle safety, stranger awareness information and keeping kids safe online are just a few of the child safety informational resources made available to our community.  In today’s society, we know children are overwhelmed with being surrounded by various forms of new technology, and if families are not careful, there could be negative impacts. DCSO is committed to educating parents and guardians on the dangers of the internet and providing tips on how to navigate the web and social media platforms to ensure their children are using devices safely.

Overall the Sheriff’s role for our youth in the community is to create and maintain a positive relationship from early on in a child’s life. We want children to come to law enforcement as they grow up, not run away from them. I encourage all members of my Office to take opportunities to interact with children in a positive way to make a difference in their lives, and for future generations. As your Sheriff, I extend my thanks to all who are making a positive influence with our DeSoto County youth and encourage each of you to continue making a difference for our children.      

Stay Safe, Be Kind, and God Bless.

Sheriff Potter