Contributed by Officer Patrick McGettrick, Rowley Police Department
LEADS (Law Enforcement Against Drugs) is a community outreach program where law enforcement can interact with students at local schools in a positive way. The program focuses on helping students set and achieve their goals. Though it does touch upon drugs/alcohol, depending on the grade level, like the DARE program of the past, it is more of an open forum with students where they feel that they can ask any questions in a safe space. I am a certified LEADs instructor and currently teach the program once a week at the Pine Grove Elementary school, 6th grade. This program has increased positive relationships between the police, the school and the students. I have seen the benefits of this program as it makes police officers like myself more relatable to the kids. It shows that really under the uniform we are just like them, and we also have goals we want to achieve. My future plans are to implement this program for more grade levels across Triton in the hopes that we can strength the Police Department and our schools relationships.
If you are interested in learning more about this program or bringing it to your school, Rowley is hosting a one day and one week training April 29- May 3 at the Rowley Police Station (477 Haverhill St., Rowley MA 01969). To register please call 609-259-2500 or email TRAINING@LEADRUGS.ORG. For more information you can contact Officer McGettrick.