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DARE officers use Prescott Schools as last stop to become certified

Mike Laabs from the Manitowoc Police Department is giving a lesson in Jean Johnson’s sixth grade class. (Herald photos by Jason Schulte)1 / 2
Deputy Marti Watts from the Bandera County (Tex.) Sheriff’s Office goes over a lesson in Craig Lubich’s sixth grade class.2 / 2

PRESCOTT--Twenty-seven police officers throughout the Midwest and beyond were at Prescott Schools Thursday morning.

They were there to teach students at Malone Elementary and Prescott Middle School to complete their final steps in becoming Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) officers.

“I was much more comfortable in front of these kids than in front of my peers,” said Officer Sean Kwiatkowski from the Crystal (Minn.) Police Department. “I was not nervous at all.”

The student instruction was the end of a two-week period which some officers described as one of the hardest trainings in their law enforcement careers. Graduation was set for later that night in St. Paul.

“It was an intensive two weeks,” Kwiatkowski said. “We had a lot of homework.”

Added Mike Hayes from the Colstrip (Mont.) Police Department: “Our instructors had us really well-prepared.”

Hayes’ comment is music to the ears of Steve Albarado, Pierce County Sheriff’s DARE officer and one of the instructors.

“It was important for these (officers) to take their final test in front of kids because some of them are starting in the classroom on Monday,” Albarado said.

Albarado said Pierce was picked for the second year due to its proximity to the Twin Cities and having schools that welcome the DARE program, which Prescott currently does.

“We have had DARE since the 1990’s and we believe in the DARE program,” said Malone Principal Scott Halverson. “They requested us and we said absolutely. We can’t put a price tag on it because kids think this is great.”

For more please read the Feb. 12 print version of the Herald. 

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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