Other NJ News

DARE Police Graduates Ready to Make Friends, Impact Lives in the Classroom

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DARE police officers' graduation at the Somerville Elks in Bridgewater, March 23. Credits: Rod Hirsch
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DARE police officers' graduation at the Somerville Elks in Bridgewater, March 23. Credits: Rod Hirsch
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DARE police officers' graduation at the Somerville Elks in Bridgewater, March 23. Credits: Rod Hirsch
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DARE police officers' graduation at the Somerville Elks in Bridgewater, March 23. Credits: Rod Hirsch
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DARE police officers' graduation at the Somerville Elks in Bridgewater, March 23. Credits: Rod Hirsch
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The DARE police officers' "Final Exam" was to teach a class of students at the Van Derveer School in Somerville the day prior to graduation. Credits: Rod Hirsch
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BRIDGEWATER, NJ  - Street-hardened police officers accustomed to traffic stops, petty crime, arresting bad guys and calming frazzled nerves came together two weeks ago in Somerset County to hone a new skill.

Side-by-side, the 25 officers were tested by a rigorous curriculum that challenged them to become role models and teachers in an ongoing national effort to counteract negative influences that make good kids make bad decisions.

Part of their training included teaching a class the day before graduation at the Van Derveer Elementary School in Somerville.

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The officers are members of several local police departments – Bernardsville, Montgomery, Warren and Watchung in Somerset County; Plainsboro, South Amboy and the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office; West Windsor, Springfield, Hardwick, Upper Saddle River, Madison and Stafford Township.

Others came from out-of-state, including Pennsylvania, Virginia, Massachusetts, Vermont, and a member of the US Coast Guard Police from Kodiak, Alaska.

Last Friday, they all graduated as certified Drug Abuse Resistance Education officers, each ready to return to their towns and begin their new assignments where they will work the front lines to help kids cope with the social pressures faced each day in the classroom, in the hallways, on the playground, street corners and in their neighborhoods.

A welcome by-product of the friendly police presence is to reassure students that they should not fear, but rather, look to police as adults they can trust and rely upon.

One of the major thrusts of the DARE curriculum is designed to help younger elementary school students, as well as middle and high school students learn about the ramifications of tobacco, drug and alcohol abuse and addiction, the risk factors and the inevitable mental and physical damage to an individual, as well as family and friends.

The officers heard from Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, a major proponent of the DARE program.

Since his appointment last year – previously he served eight years as an Assistant US. Attorney in Newark – Robertson has mounted a vigorous public awareness campaign about opioid abuse, which has reached epidemic proportions throughout the country.

Retired Capt. Jack Bennett, communications officer for the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, is the DARE training officer for New Jersey.

DARE was founded in 1983 in Los Angeles and has proven so successful that it is now part of the curriculum in 75 percent of the nation’s school districts and in more than 52 countries around the world.

As the opioid crisis, bullying, gun violence and other issues confront students, DARE has taken on added significance, according to Bennett.

“When DARE started it was really a community-based program designed to get businesses, everybody involved, a real community buy-in.” Bennett said.

The program languished in the late ‘90s and for several years thereafter because of budgetary cuts, but has recently made a resurgence, according to Bennett.

“There’s a demand for training because of the opioid problem,” he said.

The national DARE program will be coming out with a new opioid educational program that will be released in July at the DARE national conference in Florida, according to Bennett.

The 40-hour DARE program was held at the Somerville Elks Lodge #1068 on Route 28. The Elks helped to underwrite the expense of the two-week course, according to Bennett.

“By them hosting these trainings, by extension they are teaching thousands of kids not only here in Somerset County buy throughout the country,”  Bennett said.

“What we do with the trainees is to highlight what the Elks are all about and they are encouraged to go back to their towns and connect with their local Elks Lodge and get involved in their local drug awareness program,” he added.

In addition to their certificates, each graduate was presented with a Lion stuffed animal, representing the national mascot of the DARE program.

“The lion symbolizes courage and strength, needed to stand up to bullying and peer pressure,” Bennett said. “And the other animals in the kingdom look up to the lion.”

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Montville

Upcoming Events

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Thu, April 19, 8:00 AM

Montville Township Municipal Building, Montville

Montville Twp Chamber Panel Discussion

Business & Finance

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Thu, April 19, 6:30 PM

Waterside Restaurant, North Bergen

Leonidas Foundation Fundraiser

Food & Drink Giving Back

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Thu, April 19, 7:00 PM

Senior House, Montville

Montville Township Democrats Meeting

Government

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Thu, April 19, 7:00 PM

Montville Township High School, Montville

School of Rock MEF Fundraiser

Arts & Entertainment Education Food & Drink Giving Back

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Fri, April 20, 9:00 AM

Anthony Francos Pizza, Lincoln Park

Lax Franco Fundraiser (Last Day to Sign up)

Food & Drink Giving Back Sports

Calling For The Resignation of Councilwoman June Witty

April 12, 2018

Dear Editor,

This week, Montville Township Republican Committeewoman, June Witty, posted a chart depicting a swastika that compared Democrats to Nazis on her personal Facebook page. This post by Committeewoman Witty was not only insensitive to township residents registered as Democrats but, more importantly, this post is rooted in hate and vitriol toward the Jewish Community. Anti-Semitism is ...

Montville Teens Invited to Outdoor Adventure Day

April 18, 2018

If you like to challenge yourself, build adventure, go rock climbing, and catch a few fish, you’re invited to Adventure Day at MASR Camp Somers in Stanhope, NJ. 

The event is targeted to males ages 11- 17 and will take place on Sunday, May 6 from 1-4 p.m. at Camp Somers located at 750 Waterloo Rd, Stanhope, NJ.

Activities will include fishing, shooting sports, rock ...

Master Plan Kick-off Meeting to Be Held

April 8, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – The Township Committee, Planning Board, and Zoning Board of Adjustment will have a special “Master Plan Kick-off Meeting” at the municipal building on Thursday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m.

The Master Plan is the document that has been “designed to guide the future development of the community, in a manner consistent with sound planning criteria and the ...

Short Evacuation Occurs at MTHS

April 17, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – A short evacuation occurred at Montville Township High School on April 17.

After the regular 2:10 p.m. dismissal, a fire alarm sounded but an announcement was made naming it a false alarm, according to a student who was in the building for an extracurricular activity.

The alarm again went off at 2:18 p.m. and the student said an announcement was made that the building ...

More Than Just Kindness for Roxbury Student Adored by Tragically Killed Boy

April 17, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ – She lost her 10-year-old son three years ago in a boating accident on Lake Hopatcong, but Laurie D’Amico is sure her beloved Christopher speaks to her all the time. It’s subtle but firm, she says; messages that come as sparks of recollection, inspiration or intuition.

One of those unexpected inklings led Laura and her husband Chris to a jewelry ...

Lifehouse, Andy Grammer, and Creedence Clearwater Revisited to Perform for 2018 NJ Balloon Festival

April 9, 2018

READINGTON, NJ – Balloons may be the main attraction at the annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, but music also takes center stage here.

The festival will be held July 27 through July 29 at Solberg Airport and this year’s main music attractions have been announced.

On Friday evening, Andy Grammer will perform. His debut album featured the platinum singles ...

Montville Teens Invited to Outdoor Adventure Day

April 18, 2018

If you like to challenge yourself, build adventure, go rock climbing, and catch a few fish, you’re invited to Adventure Day at MASR Camp Somers in Stanhope, NJ. 

The event is targeted to males ages 11- 17 and will take place on Sunday, May 6 from 1-4 p.m. at Camp Somers located at 750 Waterloo Rd, Stanhope, NJ.

Activities will include fishing, shooting sports, rock ...

Columns

Century 21 Open Houses This Weekend

MONTVILLE, NJ - Following are Century 21 Open Houses for this weekend:

Saturday, April 21 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)

Sunday, April 22 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
172 Pine Brook Road, Montville
10 ...

Century 21 Open Houses this Weekend

MONTVILLE, NJ - Following are Century 21 open houses for this weekend:

Saturday, April 14 from 1 - 4 p.m.

1.  Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)

Sunday, April 15 from 1 - 4 p.m.

1.  42 Horseneck Road, Montville

2.  Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two ...

Century 21 Open Houses This Weekend

MONTVILLE, NJ - Following are Century 21 The Crossing open houses this weekend:

Saturday, April 7 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)

Sunday, April 8 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
42 Horseneck Road, ...

Century 21 Open Houses This Weekend

MONTVILLE, NJ - Following are Century 21 The Crossing open houses this weekend:

Saturday, March 31 from 1 - 4 p.m.  

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
1 Kirsten Court, Towaco
42 Horseneck Road, Montville

Saturday, March 31 from 1 - 3 p.m.

12 Pond View, Montville

Century 21 The Crossing Open Houses This Weekend

MONTVILLE, NJ - Following are Century 21 Open Houses this weekend:

Saturday, March 24 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)

Sunday, March 25 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
12 Summit Drive, Bld #10, North ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 14

On this week’s AtlantiCast, an internationally recognized orthopedic oncologist takes a leadership role at Atlantic Health System, see the newest weapon in the fight against HPV-related cancers, Atlantic Health System leads the Castle Connolly / Inside Jersey Rankings, and much more!

 

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