Collier Deputy Awarded ‘Florida Instructor of the Year’

Corporal Eric Grundeman, Collier County Sheriff's Dept.

Law Enforcement Against Drugs and Violence (L.E.A.D.), a national nonprofit organization committed to protecting children from the risks of drugs and bullying, awarded Corporal Eric Grundeman of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office ‘Florida Instructor of the Year.’

“We want to congratulate Corporal Grundeman on his tremendous dedication toward enlightening students in Collier County on the dangers of drugs, bullying and violence,” said Nick DeMauro, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of L.E.A.D. “COVID-19 challenged everyone in the school system this year, and we commend Corporal Grundeman as well as the other Collier County L.E.A.D. instructors on their dedication toward helping students to successfully complete L.E.A.D. programs remotely.”

Supported by dedicated officers like Corporal Grundeman, L.E.A.D. provides the leadership and resources so law enforcement agencies can partner with educators, community leaders and families with the only proven effective anti–drug, anti–violence curriculum for students K-12. Over the course of the 10-week program, officers such as Corporal Grundeman teach the L.E.A.D. curriculum to educate our youth on how they can make smart decisions without the involvement of drugs. L.E.A.D. currently operates in 37 states across the U.S.

Corporal Grundeman has taught the L.E.A.D. curriculum, Too Good For Drugs, to fifth grade students at Mike Davis Elementary School and Parkside Elementary School. This year, he had 96 students both in person and virtually due to the coronavirus. While Collier County was fortunate to have some students in the classroom during the pandemic, Corporal Grundeman says that teachers and students were still challenged to say the least.

Faith Based Events

“With mask difficulties, not being able to pass out paperwork and the distance we were required to keep from one another, none of us had ever experienced circumstances like these,” he said. “Regardless, I was happy that I could still teach the L.E.A.D. program in person to my students who chose to be in the classroom. For my virtual students, the teachers did an excellent job of setting up the classroom in a Zoom–friendly manner.”

Corporal Grundeman says that the L.E.A.D. curriculum gives children crucial tools that will be very useful as they get older.

“Such as learning how to resist peer pressure and communicate effectively with one another, L.E.A.D. provides kids with strategies that they will need later on in life, especially as they move on to middle school,” he said.

An opportunity to interact with children and have an impact on their early lives, Corporal Grundeman is grateful that L.E.A.D. allows him to get in the classroom and show his personality on behalf of the police force. Ultimately, his goal is that students remember him and refer to L.E.A.D. when they are faced with difficult situations that revolve around drugs or violence.

About L.E.A.D. 

L.E.A.D. provides the leadership, resources and management to ensure law enforcement agencies have the means to partner with educators, community leaders, and families. L.E.A.D. succeeds by providing proven and effective programs to deter youth and adults from drug use, drug-related crimes, bullying and violence. L.E.A.D. is committed to reinforcing the mutual respect, goodwill and relations between law enforcement and their communities. For more information visit

Source: News release