As many of us are aware New Jersey is faced with the devastating effects of illicit drug use. Unfortunately, many of us in our community have seen the effects first hand. New proactive steps need to be taken to help stop the issues before they begin. The Lacey Township Police Department believes that education, awareness, and community involvement are crucial in aspiring our youth to become healthy, educated, and successful members of our schools and community.
The Lacey Township Police Department is excited to announce that it has become part of the Law Enforcement Against Drugs (L.E.A.D.) program. Chief Michael C. DiBella and his officers have teamed up with the Lacey Township Mill Pond School Staff to facilitate a pilot L.E.A.D. program. The pilot program is taking place during a select portion of the 6th grade Health classes, during the third and fourth marking periods of the 2016-2017 school year. The program began February 23rd, 2017. For more information on L.E.A.D. visit:http://leadrugs.org/
Founded in 2014, L.E.A.D. is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) organization, supported by dedicated professionals in the New Jersey Law Enforcement community. This evidence-based program ensures we provide proven effective methods of instruction and content to serve our communities. Utilizing the Too Good for Drugs (TGFD) curriculum, our law enforcement officers, together with our educators and families, hope to reinforce a framework of skills to empower the students to lead safe and healthy lives. Too Good for Drugs focuses on the importance of setting goals, building positive relationships, effectively communicating, and resisting peer pressure. This program also provides information about the negative consequences of drug use, drug related crimes, bullying and violence and the benefits of a drug-free, nonviolent lifestyle.
Skill development is at the core of Too Good for Drugs, a universal prevention program designed to mitigate the risk factors and enhance protective factors related to alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Too Good for Drugs is a school based prevention program for kindergarten through 12th grade that builds resiliency by teaching students how to be socially competent and autonomous problem solvers. The program is designed to benefit everyone in the school by providing education in social and emotional competencies, by reducing risk factors, and building protective factors that affect students in the age groups. Too Good for Drugs focuses on developing personal and interpersonal skills to goal setting, decision making, bonding with others, having self respect, managing emotions, effective communication, social interaction and resisting peer pressures. The program also provides information about the negative consequences of drug use and the benefit of the nonviolent drug-free lifestyle. Too Good for Drugs has developmentally appropriate curricula for each grade level through 8th grade, with a separate high school curriculum. The structured curriculum and lesson plans are aligned with the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education. For more information on “Too Good for Drugs” visit:http://www.toogoodprograms.org/
The pilot program consists of weekly classes approximately 40-50 minutes long. The lessons will be instructed by three members of the Lacey Police Department, including Detective Kymberly Gudgeon and Officers John D. Simonson and Charles May. In addition, Lacey Township Schools Health Educator Nancy Coleman-Perez will be assisting. All of the police officer instructors bring a minimum of 10 years of police experience and a vested interest in our schools and community. Each of the officers have attended the LEAD “On the Street and in the Classroom” course and are certified LEAD instructors.
Having the LEAD officers in the school is another proactive approach to combating our community’s issues with drug and alcohol abuse. By expanding our efforts in the years to come, we believe that the LEAD program will bridge the gap between our youth and Law Enforcement and serve as a monumental benefit to the children, the school district and the community.
I would like to thank everyone who helped bring this program to our community. With the nationwide heroin epidemic, the Lacey Township Police Department is actively working to bring the most up to date programs to our community.
-Chief Michael C. DiBella