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Officer Marisa Lawrence after graduating from D.A.R.E. Officer training.

STAFFORD — On Friday, March 23, 2018, the Stafford Township Police Department announced that Officer Marisa Lawrence graduated from D.A.R.E. Officer Training. Lawrence will become the fourth active member of the Stafford Township Police Department qualified to instruct the D.A.R.E. Program.

The Stafford department is committed to assisting many in our community, especially the youth. Officer Lawrence has been a police officer for ten years in Stafford and is currently assigned to the Patrol Division.

Officer Lawrence shared her thoughts as she is preparing for her new role as a D.A.R.E. Officer in Stafford Township.

What kind of a role model would I want my kids to have? As a mom of two young boys, that’s the first thing that comes to mind as I prepare myself to walk into the classroom as D.A.R.E. Officer in just a few days. When you have children you want to see them grow up to be the best that they can be. As a D.A.R.E. Officer, I know I have an incredible opportunity to educate and inspire these kids. Hopefully I can touch their lives, so they can be the best that they can be too.

Nearly 16 years ago, I graduated as a student from the Stafford School District and in just a few short days I will be walking back in as a D.A.R.E. Officer. It seems almost surreal but amazing at the same time. Having the opportunity to mentor and inspire kinds in the same district that I went to, and in the same community that I live in, is such an incredible honor.

The D.A.R.E. training, presented by D.A.R.E. America International, was held in Bridgewater, NJ.  The training was nearly 100 hours and is designed to prepare Officers to enter the classroom and have a confident working knowledge of the D.A.R.E. “keepin’ it REAL” curriculum.

The Stafford Township Police Department has been teaching D.A.R.E. to area fifth grade students for nearly thirty years in the Stafford School District, All Saints Regional Catholic School, and the Southern Regional School District.

The program has enhanced rapport with the students that lasts into their adult years. The D.A.R.E. curriculum has evolved and transformed over the years to remain current and provides our kids with additional tools to resist peer pressure, cope with stress, and be confident student leaders.

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