Chief Neal Lartigue with the Ville Platte Police Department reports that the D.A.R.E. program recently held a graduation ceremony for 5th grade students at Sacred Heart Elementary. D.A.R.E. Instructor- Detective Charles Patrick Hall worked with these students for 10 weeks teaching them the dangers of drugs, the ways stay drug free and other life skills such as avoiding peer pressure and bullying. At the ceremony Chief Lartigue reminded the students to remember what the D.A.R.E. program and Detective Hall taught them and those lessons will help them in every day life. Captain Shawn Duplechain assisted with the graduation and enjoyed visiting with the children who remember him as D.A.R.E officer and friend.
“The D.A.R.E. program is beneficial for the youth in our community.” Chief Lartigue said, “They learn skills necessary to avoid traps and dangers in today’s world.” Chief Lartigue also commended Det. Hall for his hard work and dedication to the youth of the community.
Detective Hall commented that he enjoys working with the children and he feels that it is important that they all know that the police are there to help them so that they aren’t afraid to reach out when they need someone. During the D.A.R.E. program the classes are asked to write and essay and Detective Hall said that choosing one from each class is a hard task. “Each student wrote a good essay and showed that they were paying attention and learned a lot from the D.A.R.E classes.” Detective Hall said. “The hardest part is choosing just one when each of them were so great.” This year’s essay winners for Sacred Heart Elementary were Kale Vidrine and Hailey Arnaud.
Guest speaker for the ceremony was Pastor Caleb Semien of Word Ministries of Eunice. He reinforced the lessons the kids learned in the D.A.R.E. program by explaining how each person is unique and special and what it means to remain drug free. Chief Lartigue offered his thanks to Pastor Semien for attending and speaking to the children. Det. Hall was honored by the graduating class who presented him with a banner that they all signed and decorated for him.
Det. Hall is currently working with 5th graders at Ville Platte High School and their graduation will be in May. Chief Lartigue is pleased with the results of the D.A.R.E. program and looks forward to this program touching the lives of these children and making a difference. “Our goal is to reach and teach as many young people as possible to help them make smarter choices so that they can grow to be good role models and productive citizens. Chief Lartigue said. “As often as we can we try to meet with these young people and it’s nice when what they learned made a lasting impression on them.