8th MP Bde. investigators D.A.R.E. teens to be different

| March 25, 2011 | 0 Comments
John Donald, Department of Defense police officer, watches as a teen plays pool at the Schofield Barracks Teen Center, March 16. Donald is a Drug Awareness, Resistance and Education, or DARE, officer who talks to teens about the dangers of drugs and crime, as part of a ongoing program between the Teen Center and the 8th MP Bde., 8th TSC’s PMO.

John Donald, Department of Defense police officer, watches as a teen plays pool at the Schofield Barracks Teen Center, March 16. Donald is a Drug Awareness, Resistance and Education, or DARE, officer who talks to teens about the dangers of drugs and crime, as part of a ongoing program between the Teen Center and the 8th MP Bde., 8th TSC’s PMO.

Story and Photos by
Pfc. Marcus Fichtl
8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command

 

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — It can be rough being a military kid; with parents often deployed, these young and impressionable youth have to fight negative influences in a constant battle.

But at the Teen Center, here, a positive influence is fighting for the hearts and minds of young military kids.

These positive influences are military police investigators from the Provost Marshal Office, 8th MP Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, who see the ill effects of drugs, vandalism and theft every day.

Stacy Burdick, Department of Defense police officer, talks with teens about vandalism and drugs during a recent visit to the Schofield Barracks Teen Center. Burdick is a Drug Awareness, Resistance and Education, or DARE, officer.

Stacy Burdick, Department of Defense police officer, talks with teens about vandalism and drugs during a recent visit to the Schofield Barracks Teen Center. Burdick is a Drug Awareness, Resistance and Education, or DARE, officer.

Stacy Burdick and John Donald, Drug Awareness, Resistance and Education, or DARE, officers, sat down with the youth at the Teen Center, March 16, and talked about these issues — not as detached authority figures, but as mentors and friends — as part of an ongoing program with PMO and the Teen Center.

“The Teen Center contacted us about kids defacing property at the library and stealing amongst each other and asked us how we could help,” Donald said.

“We have a program, Juvenile Task Force, where we come talk to the kids about vandalism, theft and whatever else the kids want to talk about,” Burdick said. “But unlike a lot of programs where the police and kids are separated, we wanted to create one where we could interact on a personal level with the kids. When we see them around post or at the mall, we want them to be able to come say hi to us.”

That positive relationship on a personal level begins with group conversations, where the officers and kids learn to see eye-to-eye, literally and figuratively. Kneeling and sitting with the teens, the officers use humor, emotion and stories to answer the difficult questions that teens may have.

“It’s cool that they talk to us about this stuff,” said one of the teens who met with the officers at the Teen Center. “They were telling us about all the homeless people in Wahiawa and how they became homeless doing drugs, (sometimes by only) doing drugs one time.

 

“They tell it straight,” the teen said about the DARE officers.

“If one of my friends stole something from the (Exchange) shoppette, I’d take it back to the cashier and tell them about my friend, too,” the teen added.

After talking with the teenagers, the officers played pool with them.

“For a lot of these kids, it’s tough; their parents are deployed and every little extra boost to (encourage them to) take the right path helps,” Burdick said. “Hopefully, we make an impact on these kids and an impact on crime in the neighborhood.”

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Category: Community, Safety

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