Columbia police officer, David M. Dechane, has been named the South Carolina Bar’s Law Related Education Citizen of the Year. This award was created by the S.C. Bar to recognize people outside traditional legal and education fields who support the development of students into responsible citizens.
Officer Dechane has been a member of the Columbia Police Department for three years. He said working with the public and youth through his patrol duty has given him an appreciation for educating children about the law through positive experiences.
“Far too often, the only law-related education that young people come into contact with is through police intervention and the juvenile justice system,” he said.
Dechane became a regular volunteer at mock trial competitions sponsored by the bar after learning about the Law Related Education program.
“David has been an advocate to other police officers, recommending different programs provided by LRE for use by school resource officers and crime prevention officers,” said Cynthia Cothran, director of the Bar’s law-related education division. “He has exhibited a commitment to helping students gain a greater understanding of their role as citizens..
The South Carolina Bar’s LRE Division has been a part of the S.C. Bar since 1976.