A D.A.R.E. Stalwart Who’s at the Top of His Class
When Claude Nelson of DPSCS’ Maryland Community Crime Prevention Institute handed out medallions for his latest class of Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) graduates recently, it was a milestone. The middle schoolers from Immaculate Heart of Mary in Baltimore County pushed Nelson’s career total to over 21,500 student D.A.R.E. graduates.
And that’s just the students he’s taught personally. Nelson, a retired Baltimore County police officer and key member of the Sykesville-based crime prevention group under DPSCS auspices, has also trained more than one thousand law enforcement officers to teach D.A.R.E. Those teachers, in turn, have taught the curriculum to tens of thousands of other kids across the nation and world. So in total, there’s no telling the true reach of this single D.A.R.E. stalwart.
For his efforts, Nelson recently got a lifetime D.A.R.E. achievement award from the former Los Angeles police chief who founded the program in the 1980s.
“I’m very lucky,” says Nelson, “to have great bosses who understand the importance of prevention for the kids.”
Speaking in the Immaculate Heart of Mary auditorium on that graduation day, Nelson’s comments were a little more blunt: “You may not have faced the situation of being asked to do drugs or drink alcohol yet. But I guarantee you that you will face it. And when you do, you may not remember my name, but you’ll remember my ugly face standing up here telling you about D.A.R.E.”
To find out more about D.A.R.E., call Claude Nelson at the Maryland Community Crime Prevention Institute: 410 875-3425 or 800-303 -8802.