New Carlisle Elementary students crowd around Deputy Josh Berner to give him a hug

Surrounded by his students at New Carlisle Elementary School, D.A.R.E. Instructor Deputy Josh Berner was surprised to receive a new vehicle Friday afternoon.

Characterizing his dedication as “not admirable but truly heroic,” Sheriff Deborah Burchett said, “Deputy Berner is the true meaning of a community servant.”

The vehicle is a 2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon that was seized and forfeited by a drug dealer in Clark County, and Burchett stressed that it was obtained “not costing the citizens of Clark County one penny.”

She asked for help from the 5th grade class to present the new patrol vehicle to Berner “for his relentless dedication to you and to his community.”

When the students moved aside to show the new Jeep, Berner was obviously overcome with emotion.

“Wow!” was all Berner could say when he first saw the Jeep, and all of the children applauded.

“This is something else,” said Berner. “I don’t know what to say but thank you, and, guys (referring to his students), this is yours.”

“I knew I was getting a new vehicle, but I was not expecting it to look like this,” he said.

Berner said that he sees his students in the community all of the time, and when they see a Sheriff’s patrol vehicle, and “they’ll be looking to see if it’s me or not. Well, in this vehicle, they’re going to know it’s me.”

He also issued a caution to drug dealers throughout the county. “There’s a better way.” And if they continue their ways, their vehicle “will be driven by a D.A.R.E. officer.”

 

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