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Lathrop Police rolls out new LEAD drug prevention program
Aimed at scjhool-aged children

Lathrop Police Services wants to make sure that drug use amongst students isn’t something that becomes an issue in Lathrop.

On Monday night, the department made a presentation to the Lathrop City Council about a new program – Law Enforcement Against Drugs, or L.E.A.D. – that has been implemented in schools as a way to educate students about the dangers of drugs.

The program, which was established in 2014 and is taught in 14 states and continues to grow, has a variety of components in its curriculum that focuses on curbing and preventing drug use and violence. Taught by specially trained police officers, the program includes elementary, middle and high school components, and includes both parent and community elements.

But the program isn’t only just about drug prevention, including a life-skills building program that teaches practical skills that helps them make better choices.

So far Lathrop Police Services has completed 110 instructional sessions at all five elementary schools in Lathrop, focusing on 5th grade classrooms, and graduating over 500 students from the L.E.A.D. program since implementing it.

“The ‘Too Good For Drugs And Violence’ social perspective puts social and emotional learning to work through fun and interactive lessons, building the self-confidence young people need to make healthy choices and achieve success,” read the presentation that was made by Deputy Chris Matusoka. “’Too Good’ promotes positive, pro-social attitudes and behavior, while fostering healthy relationships, resistance to substance abuse and conflict, and resistance to negative peer pressure and influence.”

In order for students to graduate from a L.E.A.D. program, students must complete a student workbook, have a good attendance, follow the L.E.A.D. and school rules, and agree to keep their body free from drugs. They must also be good role models, be good citizens, and write a L.E.A.D. essay.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.