BEDMINSTER, NJ – 60 fifth grade students at Bedminster Township School will receive important education on the dangers of drugs and violence. This curriculum, provided by the nationwide nonprofit organization L.E.A.D. (Law Enforcement Against Drugs & Violence), aims to help students understand the risks they may face. Leading the instruction will be newly trained Police Officer Taylor DelColle, along with experienced L.E.A.D. instructor Officer Brian Smith. Together, they will teach 30 students per semester, focusing on effective communication, conflict resolution, and social and emotional competency.
“We’re pleased that Officer DelColle chose to attend one of our training sessions, and we welcome him into our family,” said Nick DeMauro, CEO of L.E.A.D. “We know that he’ll do an excellent job alongside Officer Smith contributing toward our goal of advancing police-community relationships, and we’re excited to see how the kids in Bedminster will be positively impacted as they learn why avoiding alcohol, drugs and violence is vital as well as how to set attainable goals, manage their emotions and make wise decisions.”
L.E.A.D. provides services “On The Street” and “In The Classroom” as it brings law enforcement and communities closer together. The “In The Classroom” program is taught by 4200 trained instructors in 43 states. L.E.A.D. has a proven effective, law enforcement-focused anti–drug, anti–violence curriculum for K-12 students in the U.S. The L.E.A.D. curriculum is taught over the course of a 10-week program to educate youth on how they can make smart decisions without the involvement of drugs or violence.
The L.E.A.D. program will be a great benefit to the fifth graders in Bedminster, says Officer DelColle, since the structure of the curriculum will allow them to thoroughly understand why they should stay away from harmful substances and violence.
“Before the program even teaches the kids about the consequences that would result from partaking in alcohol, drugs and violence, they’re first introduced to the topic of how setting goals and making good decisions will lead them to live successful lives in the future,” he said. “If the curriculum wasn’t set up in a way that taught the kids how using these substances and being violent would hinder their goal setting and decision-making skills, I think it’d be much harder for them to understand just how serious substance abuse and violence is.”
“In addition to how the curriculum implemented by L.E.A.D. is laid out, I like the games that are incorporated into the program,” added Officer DelColle. “They’re a fun, interactive way for the students to get to know us better as well as learn more about one another, and they’ll also be a good way to reinforce what they’ve learned after each of the lessons. It’ll be incredibly rewarding to see all the information that they’ll absorb throughout the program.”
Officer DelColle looks forward to seeing how the relationship between the Bedminster Township Police Department and the community in Bedminster will grow as he and Officer Smith instruct the school children on the L.E.A.D. program.
“Many of the people in a community don’t know their local police officers on a personal level, and vice versa. Therefore, it’s common that the bond between police departments and communities isn’t super strong,” he said. “However, by having the opportunity to show the folks in our community that in addition to performing our normal police duties, we’re doing everything we can to allow today’s children to become the best possible versions of themselves, I’m confident that we’ll have a stronger relationship with them by the end of the program.”
L.E.A.D. provides the leadership, resources and management to ensure law enforcement agencies have the means to partner with educators, community leaders, and families. L.E.A.D. succeeds by providing proven and effective programs to deter youth and adults from drug use, drug related crimes, bullying and violence. L.E.A.D. is committed to reinforcing the mutual respect, goodwill and relations between law enforcement and their communities. For more information, visit https://www.leadrugs.org/.
Original Article: https://www.tapinto.net/towns/bernardsville-and-bedminster/sections/police-and-fire/articles/bedminster-township-police-department-works-with-l-e-a-d-law-enforcement-against-drugs-violence-to-teach-the-program-s-evidence-based-curriculum-in-the-classroom?fbclid=IwAR3BBJcSIggXVonU9SduP9Ndeom9FTI7cb6GYUoYrBOUIv1Xur5RgvViEoQ