Recently-retired Brick Police Chief Rick Bergquist and Ocean County Sheriff Michael Mastronardy are set to become members of the New Jersey D.A.R.E. program’s Board of Directors at an event scheduled for this Friday at St. Dominic School in the township.
The introduction of the new board will take place at the graduation of 24 new D.A.R.E. Officers who have been specially trained in the “Keepin’ it REAL” curricula, a state-of-the-art program developed through an alliance with The Pennsylvania State University and Arizona State University with support from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The D.A.R.E. Officers graduating this week join the more than 200 other New Jersey D.A.R.E Officers trained in various D.A.R.E. curricula in just the two past years.
The new officers will be welcomed by sixth grade students from St. Dominic School, who themselves will graduate from the D.A.R.E. program at the end of the month.
D.A.R.E., which stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, is a well-known program aimed at keeping young people from experimenting with drugs, alcohol and violence. Students who enter the program sign a pledge not to use drugs and learn about the dangers of substances from local police officers.
Bergquist and Mastronardy will be joined on the Board of Directors by John Gluck, Carl Mittelhammer, District Emergency Management Specialist for the Bergenfield Public Schools, Michael Palumbo, CPA Captain Joseph Rampolla, Park Ridge Police Department, John L. Malone, Field Representative for Congressman Leonard Lance and Jack Bennett, Captain (ret.), Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office.
The program will be held Friday, May 27, from 11 a.m. to 12 noon at St. Dominic School, 250 Old Squan Road, Brick.