T.E.A.M. OfficerBackground
In 1987, the Mount Vernon Police Department committed to a relatively new and innovative drug education program called D.A.R.E. that was designed to put police officers in direct contact with students over a seventeen-week period of time. The D.A.R.E. Program, by most estimations, has been successful in terms of police-student-school relations.

D.A.R.E. is a copyrighted product, which means we were unable to customize the curriculum to fit our local needs. We wanted to maximize the use of available classroom time and avoid duplication of other school programs already in place. Times changed, and so did the program.

In September of 1999, a group consisting of school administrators, parents, teachers, community members, and police officers began meeting monthly to develop an alternative. The basic parameters of the new program included:

  • Flexible curriculum
  • Local tone
  • Police officer as instructor
  • Reduced duplication
  • Provide skills to face contemporary, social problems

T.E.A.M. stands for Teach, Encourage, Advise, and Mentor. The thrust of the program is safety education and drug and violence prevention. The program is taught to K-6 students as opposed to only 6th graders in D.A.R.E. The goal is "To promote choices which lead to a safe and healthy lifestyle, positive interactions, and good citizenship."

Program Curriculum

Kindergarten – Grade 1

  • Stranger Danger 
  • Officer Introduction 
  • Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety in the spring

Grade 2

  • Drugs Good / Bad
  • Gun Safety
  • Staying Safe

Grade 3

  • Dealing With Angry Feelings
  • Refusal Skills
  • Gangs
  • Internet Safety 

Grades 4

  • Conflict Resolution / Anger Management
  • Bullying
  • Staying Safe in Cyber Space
  • Respect Yourself and Others Too
  • Tobacco

Grades 5

  • Shoplifting
  • Refusal Skills
  • Gun Safety
  • Alcohol
  • Social Media Awareness

Grade 6

  • Peer Pressure and Refusal Skills
  • Gangs and Violence
  • Alcohol/Tobacco
  • Other Drugs
  • Using social media responsibly

Public Education Program

This program is designed to create positive interaction between the police officer and student as well as to increase communication and understanding. It is our belief that putting community resources to work in an effort to educate our children on the benefits and perils of personal choices gives us our best chance to avoid later hardship and tragedy. We also believe that working closely with our youth will help to reinforce the importance of making good life decisions that are taught by parents, teachers, and other community members.

If you have any questions about the T.E.A.M. program, please contact our Crime Prevention Division at (360) 336-6271.

TEAM Presenters