By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Three Tupelo police officers are spending two weeks teaching students about drug and alcohol safety as a part of D.A.R.E. Camp.
Each morning this week and next, 16 students meet at Joyner Elementary School for a drug abuse resistance lesson followed by games and afternoon activities.
Denterrious Buchannon, 11, said he signed up for camp because it’s fun and he’s even learned a few things about drugs and alcohol.
“I learned smoking and drinking are bad,” he said. “(Drinking) will make you crazy.”
Camp isn’t just in a classroom, though. Buchannon said shooting a bow and arrow one afternoon was the coolest part of camp so far.
Lauren Marshall, 9, said she signed up because it was something to do this summer and she is enjoying it.
“We’ve been hanging out with friends and getting to know people,” she said. “I’ve learned that smoking and drinking can hurt people. You get drunk and then you don’t make smart decisions.”
After lunch, the students leave the school for activities like swimming and bowling.
“The camp is a fun way for us to build relationships with the kids,” said Cpl. John Bramble. “That way, as they get older, they’ll see us in the schools and know police officers are their friends and not the bad guys a lot of people say we are.”
Officers Neil Naron, Richard Franklin and Bramble instruct the students in D.A.R.E. lessons each day.
“We do team activities that emphasize teamwork and teach respect for each other,” Bramble said. “We try to emphasize those skills they’ll need for everyday living.”
The summer camp is provided for free by the Tupelo Police Department with assistance from Joyner Elementary School.