Nixa Police Department officer Brent Forgey works hard to make sure local students and adults have the tools they need to stay safe.
Forgey uses his role as a law enforcement officer to influence the lives of children largely through three programs: Drug Abuse Resistance Education, Gang Resistance Education And Training, and Safety Town.
“It has been estimated I have taught over 15,000 children in these programs,” says Forgey, who teaches program classes for students at Nixa Public Schools.
While the programs have differing messages, they all are meant to make sure kids are safer and turn into crime-free adults.
“The DARE program teaches students drug information for responsible decision making, risks and consequences, peer pressure, dealing with stress, basics of communication, nonverbal communication and listening – and the dangers of bullying,” Forgey says, noting he works with K-4 students, as well as those in fifth and seventh grades in DARE.
GREAT targets eighth-graders, while Safety Town is for preschool children.
Forgey established the Safety Town program in Nixa, which he says was an extensive, yet rewarding, process.
“This took a lot of planning and required help from a lot of different individuals to make it a success,” he says. “The persistence and dedication I needed to make sure preschool-age children received the best training in safety rules at their age was a huge undertaking on top of my normal duties.”
Forgey also teaches driver education classes at the high school level to pass on information about traffic stops and searches.
Anecdotally, Forgey has seen evidence that his intervention efforts are working.
He reflects on a first-grade boy responding positively to a safety video and gratitude from a former DARE student from years ago.
“She said because of me she has stayed drug- and alcohol-free her entire life,” Forgey says of the DARE student. “I was so taken aback by this statement, I became very emotional – ended up telling her how proud I was of her, hugged her and stated that she made my entire year. Reflecting back, she made a statement that impacted my entire life.”
For adults, Forgey leads neighborhood watch, crime-free business and crime-free multihousing programs, as well as fraud seminars.
“When I first taught crime-free multihousing, we had such an impact in two rental areas of our city, we lowered our calls for service from 2.9 calls every day to one call a week,” he says.
Elsewhere in the community, Forgey is active in the Nixa American Legion’s Sons of the American Legion program for local veterans. He’s currently finance officer and chaplain for the program.
He also has volunteered with the University of Missouri Extension in Christian County on agriculture programs, and he volunteered to teach DARE classes in the Philippines.
“I taught Philippine National Police officers in Manila how to teach the DARE program in a two-week training course,” Forgey says.
Shoppers who head to Battlefield Mall for holiday gifts have a new option that doesn’t require gift wrap and won’t take up much trunk space.