Meet the Community Oriented Drug Education (C.O.D.E.) Officer Diane Brand

Diane BrandWe would like to welcome back Officer Diane Brand who has been the C.O.D.E. (Community Oriented Drug Education) Officer for grades K-5 for 15 years.

The C.O.D.E. program was developed in 1996 as an alternative to the DARE program, focusing on the issues present in, and the needs specific to, the Camillus community. It is a collaborative effort between the Camillus Police Department and the West Genesee School District.

Originally offered as an 8-week program for 5th grade students, its focus was on drug and alcohol awareness, bullying prevention, internet safety, and self esteem. Changes in New York State Education Law resulted in a review and revision of the program in 2012 to include grades K-5, and additional topics. Currently, students in grades K-4 attend four assemblies throughout the school year with age-appropriate topics.

The focus of the program for each grade level is as follows:

  • Kindergarten students learn about the role of police officers, physical and emotional safety, stranger awareness, healthy feelings, and self-esteem.
  • First grade students learn about growing up healthy, esteem building, celebrating our differences, and problem-solving skills.
  • Second graders learn about bullying, being an upstander, reporting situations and feelings to trusted adults, problem-solving skills, and how to be a good friend.
  • Third graders learn about being an upstander, how to deal with peer pressure situations, healthy feelings and appropriate responses, life skills, and the importance of self control.
  • Fourth grade presentations focus on risky behaviors and consequences, and the importance of social media safety and digital citizenship. The students participate in an internet safety contest to design a poster with a theme or slogan, and including the positive and negative aspects of social media.
  • Fifth grade presentations focus areas include drugs and addiction, and current trends and issues relative to drug and alcohol use and abuse. Making good choices is a key theme of this program.

Officer Brand graduated from Skaneateles High School then went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, TX. She returned to the Central New York area upon graduation, and accepted a position as a police officer with the Town of Clay Police Department. Her duties and responsibilities included serving as the Property and Evidence Officer, Juvenile Officer, Training Officer, and Accreditation Program Manager. She retired from that department after 21 years of service, at the rank of Sergeant, to accept a full-time teaching position in the Criminal Justice Department at Oswego State University, where she currently still teaches. She was retired from law enforcement for less than a year, when the former Camillus Police Chief, Thomas Winn, offered her a part-time position with the Camillus Police Department assuming the position of C.O.D.E. Officer.

In addition to being the C.O.D.E. Officer, she and her husband Ken, who is a retired lifetime member and past Deputy Chief of the Moyers Corners Fire Department, are the proud parents of their daughter Whitney. Whitney has followed in the footsteps of her parents’ public service, and is an Onondaga County Sheriff’s Deputy. Officer Brand also enjoys swimming and spending time outdoors with her German Shepherd, Moose.

Onondaga Road Elementary School Principal Jeannette Clark shared, “Officer Brand is a long standing member of our WG Wildcat family. She has gotten to know our students from each building over the years and continues to communicate to staff and families alike. Officer Brand has been a valuable resource to us over the years, connecting us to other community organizations for support as well. We value her insight and her dedication to our West Genesee community.”