Rotary Club hears from NBLC and Decatur County School Police

Published 9:32 am Wednesday, January 5, 2022

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The Bainbridge Rotary Club held their first meeting of the new year at the Kirbo Center this Tuesday. The Club will be hosting its meetings at the Kirbo Center from now on, and not at the Country Club.

The guest speakers of the day were Dr. Stephanie Green with New Beginnings Learning Center, and Chief Maurice Gaines and Cpl. Leroy Akins with the school police.

Dr. Green spoke about New Beginnings Learning Center (NBLC) and what it offers, describing it as “the best kept secret” of the Decatur school system.

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According to Green, the program is no longer a night program, now going from 8:30 to 12:30, Monday through Thursday. There is also an afternoon program, from 12:30 to 2:45. The program is provided for middle and high school students, with 130 currently enrolled. As an alternative school, students may be sent there as punishment for code of conduct violations. They may also enroll in a transition program, as part of a specialized individual program.

“We try to meet the needs of all of our students, depending on what’s going on,” she said. “With everything in the community, we have kids that might have to work, so we kind of meet the kids on their level and assess their individual needs.”

NBLC also offers a self-paced online curriculum, both individual and group counseling, as well as guest speakers and college visits, among other programs and features.

“I know you ask how you can help, just become a community partner,” Dr. Green encouraged.

Afterward, Chief Maurice Gaines and Cpl. Leroy Akins with the school police spoke. Some of the topics discussed included the prevalence of vaping among students, the new Centegix alarm badges provided to faculty in the event of fights or active shooters, as well as gang activity.

The officers were also accompanied by Cupca, the school’s new drug dog. Cpl. Akins performed a demonstration, with Cupca sniffing out contraband that had been placed under a chair. She is trained to smell four odors, that of marijuana, meth, cocaine and heroine.

“The best thing about her is, in the parking lot, stuff we can’t really get to or smell, like we might see a cake in the back seat, but all she sees is the ingredients to the cake,” Akins said. “We smell the cake, but she smells the ingredients and everything inside it.”

“For the most part, we got a great system, we’ve got a bunch of great kids,” Chief Gaines said, “One or two bad apples will make it look bad for everybody, but for the most part we’ve got a great staff and everything.”