TOWNSHIP COUNCIL TO CUT DARE, JUNIOR POLICE ACADEMY AND LEADERSHIP ACADEMY PROGRAMS
Budget cuts being considered by the Mayor and Township Council will cut 3 police officers, eliminating the staffing available for DARE, Junior Police Academy and Youth Leadership Academy. Police support for the Kid Care Identification Program and Red Ribbon Safety Week will also be lost.
Over 6,000 police hours annually will be cut, forcing the police department to eliminate its instructional support for these three community programs which combined in 2008 to reach roughly 1,000 students. This is Mahwah's largest community outreach program, and the only effort focused on developing decision-making skills in the face of peer pressure related to drugs, alcohol, bullying as well as gang recruitment and cyber safety. More information about these programs can be found at www.mmasite.org.
Urgent Requested Action
The next town council meeting is January 22, 2009 at 8pm at the Municipal Building. The MMA is urging concerned parents, community leaders and others to contact Mayor Richard Martel at firstname.lastname@example.org to demand continued use of police resources for these programs.
The MMA also encourages its supporters to contact council members directly by telephone and by fax. Contact information is provided at the end of this email.
Critical Communications Points
· Only DARE, Junior Police Academy and Youth Leadership Academy create personal bonds between children and police. These bonds help kids see the police as a resource and help the police learn about threats to our children. Without these connections, an important community link will be lost.
· Prior cuts sacrificed the Student Resource Officer.
· DARE is a critical educational program; without DARE there is no police-led curriculum for drug and alcohol education in our schools. Currently, DARE is taught at the 5th, 7th and 10th grade levels. For 5th graders, DARE is a crucial learning experience before entering middle school. A highlight of the 5th grade experience is the DARE culmination ceremony which draws several hundred attendees.
· Junior Police Academy is a highly popular summer program that engages 6th grade children in an intensive 2 week program simulating officer training. A high impact part of the program simulates the dangerous experience of driving under the influence of alcohol.
· Youth Leadership Academy is a growing program inspired by the success of DARE and the Junior Police Academy. Offered to grade 7 students it continues the leadership and decision-making instruction.
· Police staffing will be reduced to 1997 levels, when the town population was significantly smaller than our present size of roughly 25,000. A smaller force means fewer opportunities to combat crime and slower emergency response times.
The Mahwah Municipal Alliance will keep you posted with new developments. We urge you to use this email to register your concern with both Mayor Martel as well as the town council.
Thank you for your support.
Mahwah Township Council
Name Address Phone
H. Lisa DiGiulio
Councilmember Tel: 201-934-8313
John F. Roth
Councilmember Tel: 201-529-9358
Samuel A. Alderisio
Councilmember Tel: 201-529-5757 ext. 230
Council President Tel: 201-787-3244
Robert G. Hermansen
Council Vice President Tel: 201-847-1847
Allan R. Kidd
Councilmember Tel: 201-818-8888
Roy B. Larson
Councilmember Tel: 201-891-0160