ROSELLE, NJ – The Borough of Roselle is Celebrating the Birthday of the Roselle Everett Hatcher Prevention Coalition (REHPC), as it celebrates 30 years of "Ongoing Work Toward Creating a Drug-Free Community".

The (REHPC) was created to inform, connect and bring awareness to youth and families regarding substance abuse issues impacting borough neighborhoods.

The coalition was named after Special Agent Everett Hatcher, whose vision was to foster the growth of a thriving community and to educate residents about the need to remain drug free.

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Hatcher served in the Drug Enforcement Administration in New York. Hatcher’s life was cut short at the age of 46; he was shot and killed during an undercover investigation on Staten Island on Feb. 28, 1989.

His death motivated a group of concerned citizens to reclaim their community, increasing awareness and support for substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery. It was Mayor Sam J. Colucci who created this alliance to combat drug issues and to educate the community.

When creating the alliance he decided to name the alliance after Everett E. Hatcher. Agent Hatcher was connected to the Roselle Community as his wife Mary Jane had been an Educator and Guidance Counselor with Abraham Clark High School.  

The coalition is managed by a volunteer committee in partnership with the Borough of Roselle in the continued effort to fight drug abuse.

“What this coalition has done for the Borough of Roselle is indescribable and I know its work is far from done,” Mayor Christine Dansereau said. “This program is so important to Roselle and gives our residents so much, serving as a critical resource. I want to thank all REHPC volunteers: You are making a tremendous, positive impact on younger generations.”

Marking its 30th year of service, REHPC sponsors school-based prevention education programs, helped support the start of the Roselle Junior Police Academy and participates in Union County’s annual Red Ribbon Day activities. They have a long list of success stories that include National Night Out and town hall meetings.

Hellen Quesada, the Program Coordinator of REHPC, said the coalition has become well-known in Roselle for its work and stands as a resource for those who want to join in the fight against youth substance abuse.

“We only want to continue the progress from here,” Quesada added. “All credit for this program goes to the volunteers, from those who founded the coalition to those who serve it now. They are all so important to us and have made REHPC what it is today.”

The REHPC has more than 40 active members.

This year, for the first time, the REHPC will be taking 10 youths to a summer camp training program on substance abuse prevention. For more information, contact Quesada at (908) 868-0489 or hquesada@boroughofroselle.com.

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