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STAFFORD – Officer Marisa Lawrence of the Stafford Township Police Department recently graduated from D.A.R.E. Officer Training.

A 10 year veteran of the STPD and current member of the Patrol Division, Lawrence is now the fourth active member of the STPD to be D.A.R.E. certified. The D.A.R.E. program aims at helping young kids deal with peer pressure, cope with stress and be confident leaders.

According to the STPD, the D.A.R.E. program has been successful at “reaffirming our commitment to our youth” for nearly 30 years. D.A.R.E. is presented to fifth grade students in the Stafford and Southern Regional School Districts as well as All Saints Regional Catholic School.

“The rapport that our officers developed with these students over the years has been a critical component of our successful Community Policing initiative,” stated the STPD in a Facebook post.

Lawrence’s D.A.R.E. training took place over the course of two weeks, consisting of 100 hours.

“In an unprecedented era where we face an opiate epidemic, law enforcement needs every resource available to address the issue,” stated the STPD.

The department also engages in other programs to help fight the opioid epidemic such as On-POINT, Blue HART, and #NotEvenOnce.

From Jersey Shore Online