Fort Mill Police Department lauds students for ‘Doing the Right Thing’

Special to the Fort Mill TimesJanuary 12, 2013 

— The Fort Mill Police Department hosted the second Do the Right Thing Awards Ceremony of the 2012-2013 school year Thursday at Fort Mill Town Hall.

Ten winners were recognized and given gift bags. The winners were Blake Gronowski, Jason Menchinger, Brandon Cargile-Jones, Brandon Turner, Sabah Bhamani, Ian Baird, Sarah Merritt, Genesis Bookhart, Amber Shue and Presley Bolick.

Ian Baird, grand prize winner, received a Kindle Fire tablet. He and the other winners were also awarded gift cards and other prizes. The estimated amount of the donated items was over $1,500 to be split on the finalists.

Do The Right Thing is a program to recognize and reward Fort Mill youth for their exemplary behavior, accomplishments and good deeds. The DTRT Awards Program distinguishes exceptional school-age children who choose to be drug and crime free, exhibit non-violent behavior, do well in school, make a difference in their communities and demonstrate turnaround behavior.

Fort Mill PD Lt. Ray Dixon says he thinks the program is important because it gives police officers a chance to reward good behavior instead of reprimanding bad.

“We have some wonderful kids here in Fort Mill and for them to finally get recognition for their good deeds, behavior and lifestyle is paramount to us here at the Fort Mill Police Department,” Dixon said.

Students are nominated each quarter during the school year by police officers, teachers and other adults for “doing the right thing.” A selection committee reviews the nominations and selects 10 finalists for the quarter. At the ceremony, children will be honored for their deeds and awarded gifts donated by local area businesses. Students are told at the ceremony the reason for their nomination and who nominated them.

One of the highlights of the ceremony is when the nominees meet the chiefs of the police and fire departments.

“This program and recognizing deserving kids is one of the reasons I love my job,” Dixon said.

Brandon Cargile-Jones, one of the winners, was surrounded by family and friends to accept his award. His mother, Hope Cargile-Jones said she was happy her son was recognized.

“I was surprised at first when he came home with a medal,” she said. “Then he told me he had found $100 under the school bleachers and returned it.”

Anyone unable to attend the ceremony can view the event on Fort Mill’s Comporium cable channel 19 beginning Jan. 15.   

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