(Left to right): Lieutenant Stephen Salvas, PFC John Foster, PFC Tiffany Smith, and PFC Kurt Burger

The Charles County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to announce the graduation of three school resource officers from the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) training held Sept. 21 – Oct. 3 at the Public Safety Education and Training Center in Sykesville. PFC John Foster, PFC Tiffany Smith and PFC Kurt Burger were among 20 officers from across the region to complete the two-week, 80 hour certification course to become some of the nation’s newest DARE instructors.
DARE is a community based, nation-wide program which links law enforcement, schools and parents in a partnership to educate children about the dangers of drugs. The class is taught by police officers who present information to children in a classroom environment, providing skills on how to resist drugs and how to build resiliency to staying away from drugs. In addition, some of the other lessons discussed under the DARE program include bullying, gangs, internet safety, cyber-bullying, and prescription drug abuse. DARE instructors are certified to deliver programs at the K-4, elementary and middle school level.

In Charles County, a school resource officer is assigned to every high school and middle school on a full-time basis. These officers are also responsible for interacting with students at elementary schools. School resource officers strive to establish positive connections with students. They provide safety, teach classes, coordinate after- school activities and serve as mentors.

With the graduation of these officers, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office has a total of 18 officers qualified to teach the DARE curriculum. For more information about the CCSO school resource officers, visit http://www.ccso.us/school-resource-section/.