The township’s L.E.A.D. Festival, a carnival being held at the Gloucester Township Premium Outlets through Sunday, has been an opportunity to bring the community together through safety.
L.E.A.D. (Law Enforcement Against Drugs and Violence) has a strong presence in Camden County, with multiple area police departments attending the festival;. The carnival benefits the program’s initiative to provide services “on the street” and “in the classroom” to bring law enforcement and the community closer together in the township. The “in the classroom” program is taught by 3,000 trained instructors in 41 states.
L.E.A.D. has a proven law enforcement-focused, anti–drug, anti–violence curriculum for K to 12 students in the U.S. It is taught over the course of 10 weeks to educate youth on how they can make smart decisions without the involvement of drugs or violence. In addition to Gloucester Township’s PD, Berlin’s Police Departments will be present at the carnival.
Gloucester Township police have prioritized their L.E.A.D program in all schools and they work closely with the organization throughout the year. They have featured School Resource and L.E.A.D officers at the carnival with information booths for the community.
L.E.A.D. CEO Nick DeMauro said the organization looks forward to strengthening the township’s, as well as surrounding communities, police-community relationship. Berlin Borough and Township Police Departments will both be present at the carnival
“They have a dynamic program with a fantastic police department,” he said. “Their involvement with the students is second to none. They feel that the curriculum has helped their community make a distinct change.”
DeMauro said L.E.A.D. hopes to sponsor festivals throughout the country to build community branding of its name but separate it from the curriculum taught in schools.
“There’s L.E.A.D. programs in the school, but the L.E.A.D. fests are community initiatives that [serve to] support local L.E.A.D. programs,” DeMauro explained.
The carnival has rides, food trucks, games, and magic shows. Today through Friday, it will be open to the public from 5 to 11 p.m. Admission is $5. To purchase discounted ride tickets and mega passes in advance, visit https://www.theleadfest.com/p/events/gloucester.