Bertram Rantin

July 4, 2014

Richland County deputy earns statewide honor

A Richland County Sheriff’s deputy is this year’s DARE officer of the year.

Richland County sheriff’s deputy Todd Minemier is a big believer in the importance of making good decisions, choosing friends wisely and forming a good support system of trusted adults.

It’s a philosophy the Lake Murray Elementary School resource officer has passed along to students and a big part of the teaching resume that’s distinguished him as this year’s 2014 DARE Resource Officer of the Year for South Carolina.

Minemier was formally recognized during the 18th Annual South Carolina Association of School Resource Officers Conference in Myrtle Beach the end of last month.

Minemier has worked in law enforcement more than 25 years. He joined the Sheriff’s Department three years ago as an SRO and to facilitate the DARE program. The 10-week program teaches fifth graders to make good decisions about alcohol, tobacco, peer pressure and bullying.

“The most important thing to me has been the relationships I've formed with so many students over my 25-plus years of being in the classroom,” Minemier said. “Hopefully I've been a positive influence and good role model.”

Lake Murray principal Claire Thompson praised Minemier for the way he identifies with students.

“He builds relationships with students, goes the extra mile to support our staff and is a symbol of safety for our parents,” Thompson said. “His presence at arrival and dismissal reassures our parents that school safety is a priority. He builds trust with our students by getting to know them and being accessible to them on the playground and in the cafeteria. He has provided strong support and good advice for our staff and administrators as we have dealt with difficult situations.”

While Minemier said he was surprised at his selection, Sheriff Leon Lott was not.

“I have known Deputy Minemier his entire law enforcement career,” Lott said. “He has always been involved with children through the DARE program and he is a role model for a DARE officer.”

Richland County deputy senior deputy David Adams received the 2014 Midlands Regional School Resource Officer of the Year Award during the recent conference. Adams is assigned to A.C. Flora High School.

Hats off to community service

Cathy Monetti and Teresa Coles of Riggs Partners recently received the George L. Johnson Community Spirit Award from the South Carolina Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

The award is named for a past president of the statewide association of public relations practitioners and recognizes outstanding achievement in service to the community through time, talents and skills.

Monetti and Coles, who work at the Columbia-based creative marketing agency, are the co-founders of CreateAthon, in which professionals and students develop marketing strategies and creative materials to help nonprofit organizations meet specific communications objectives.

Since it was founded, CreateAthon has grown from a single-market event in Columbia to nonprofit that has attracted more than 85 marketing agencies, universities, corporations and professional clubs as official partners.

CreateAthon has helped more than 1,500 nonprofit organizations in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

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