ORLANDO -- On Oct. 27, 2021, Hendry County Reserve Deputy Shanita Campbell was recognized for her commitment to GAAP, at the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice’s Third a Annual Restoring Hope Training Summit with the theme of “Promoting Mental and Behavioral Health Awareness.”
Hendry County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) Reserve Deputy Shanita Campbell and former School Resource Officer at Eastside Elementary, was recognized by the Department of Juvenile Justice for her work with Gaining Appreciation by Adjusting Perspectives (G.A.P.P.).
Deputy Campbell is a Clewiston native. She began her career at Glades County Sheriff's Office and later worked at South Bay Correctional Facility as Corrections Officer, later reaching the rank of Sergeant before coming to HCSO in April 2013. She spent three years on road patrol before becoming the School Resource Officer (SRO) at Eastside Elementary.
After becoming a SRO, Shanita became involved with Gaining Appreciation by Adjusting Perspectives (GAAP), a program developed by Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) Office of Prevention Services. She even spent her days off working on the program. “Shanita was very passionate about assisting the youth of her community and understanding the challenges they face,” Sandra Ferguson, DJJ’s Delinquency Prevention Specialist said.
Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden said, “Deputy Campbell’s dedication to the community and its youth is beyond reproach. When Shanita left our agency a large void in our communities was felt”.
The summit engaged over 400 juvenile justice professionals and community partners statewide and was designed to bring together community partners and stakeholders to develop strategies that will enhance reform efforts, strengthen families, and build connections while empowering attendees with relevant advancements in juvenile justice reform. The summit was held at the Florida Hotel and Conference Center in Orlando, FL.
The DJJ Office of Prevention Services, launched Youth/Law Enforcement Focus Groups known as G.A.A.P. Discussions, (Gaining Appreciation by Adjusting Perspectives), in 2012, with an emphasis on schools and community. These discussions promote education, understanding and positive relationships between youth and law enforcement. Goals include:
• Developing a positive, productive relationship between youth and law enforcement creates a better understanding, builds self-esteem in youth and focuses on issues youth experience on a daily basis.
• Promote reduced juvenile arrests and minority overrepresentation.
• G.A.A.P. Discussions allow us to explore and identify factors at risk youth are exposed to and follow up with prevention and intervention programs.
• Allows for data collection which provides measurable outcomes.
Shanita and 11 other members of the statewide justice team were awarded for their dedication to G.A.A.P. and the youth of their communities.
Shanita’s award read:
"Reserve Deputy Shanita Campbell
"IN RECOGNITION OF YOUR DEDICATED SERVICES
"You have exemplified our values of honesty, integrity, teamwork and commitment in support of GAAP Discussions that impact the lives of children!
"Your service and dedication have made you a heartbeat in your community.
"Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Office of Prevention Services."