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Characters Unite Award Winners

Wade Carpenter


Chief of Police Wade Carpenter developed an anti-bullying campaign entitled "Leaders For Life" with his associates, Detective Mike Bleak, and Peter Iacavazzi, after a young man attempted suicide in response to incessant bullying. Leaders For Life, which has been introduced into several schools, serves to educate and enlighten young adults, teach them to celebrate their differences, protect one another, and to embrace love and friendship. Chief Carpenter also teamed with the Utah Chiefs of Police Association, Utah Sheriffs Association, and local State Legislators to establish a legislative house bill that prevents bullying and hazing in elementary and secondary schools; the bill was passed during the 2011 State of Utah General Session.

Detective Mike Bleak and Chief Carpenter are 20- plus year veterans of public safety including EMS, law enforcement, fire rescue and S.W.A.T.; Peter Iacavazzi works as a military combative instructor and public speaker. For the last 16 years, Mike and Wade have been working on various prevention programs in an effort to reduce the rate of specific criminal activity in their areas.

In the last few years, bullying has become a prolific issue with our youth. Physical, psychological, and cyber bullying have become commonplace in society. Along with bullying come the issues of substance abuse and suicide. Chief Carpenter and Peter Iacavazzi originally started a program known as "Stand by Me". This program is a specific program that is designed to target the issues of bullying. While implementing this program, it became obvious to Chief Carpenter and Detective Bleak that there was a need to delve deeper into the underlying problems associated with these issues.

Leaders For Life was developed with the intent of addressing the underlying issues of self-esteem and the lack of leadership. By fostering these leadership skills in youth, it will give them the tools to be good citizens and avoid the pitfalls of bullying and substance abuse. To date, they have been able to bring this program to several hundred youth over the last three years and have seen a dramatic change in the lives of some of the participants. Chief Carpenter and his associates are excited about this opportunity to bring these skills to a broader audience and affect the lives of our youth today in futures to come.

Wade Carpenter