Every year, the Early Police Department teaches a drug awareness class for the Early 5th graders. The program is called D.R.E.A.M. and it stands for Drug Recognition Education And Mentoring. “It’s what DARE used to be but with DREAM we can mold it to fit what the community needs and it helps to educate the kids on the different life challenges that they will face.” Said Early Police Chief David Mercer.
Officers will spend one day out of each week for twelve weeks with the 5th graders at Early Elementary. During that time the children will enjoy, bounce houses, pizza parties and fun activities with the Early police officers. “We’ve been doing this for 8 years and our officers really enjoy it. We don’t force our officers to do it, they all volunteer.” Chief Mercer said.
This week was the last of the twelve weeks that the officers will be conducting the program but will continue to educate the children of Early for years to come. According to Chief Mercer, the Early Elementary school highly enjoys having the officers come spend time with the students. He also says that this program is important for more than just educating the students on drug awareness by stating “I think it’s very important because they aren’t seeing the cops as they come into the house when mom and dad are fighting but instead are seeing cops as they are having a good time and enjoying the day with them.”
The two officers who led this year's D.R.E.A.M. program are officers Tasha Tobias and Sgt. Brandon McMillan.