News Release, Charles County Sheriff’s Office

Charles County Sheriff Troy D. Berry is pleased to announce the graduation of three school resource officers from the 35th Maryland D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Officer Training class recently held at the Maryland Public Safety Education and Training Center in Sykesville. PFC Jennifer Brown, PFC Stefan Hillman, and PFC Shawn Joffe were among officers from across the region to complete the two-week, 80-hour certification course to become some of the nation’s newest D.A.R.E. instructors.

D.A.R.E. is a community-based, nationwide program that links law enforcement, schools and parents in a partnership to educate children about the dangers of drugs, gangs, and violence.

The class is taught by police officers who present information to children in a classroom environment, providing skills on how to resist drugs and how to build resiliency to staying away from drugs. The program also includes discussions on bullying, internet safety, cyber-bullying, and prescription drug abuse. D.A.R.E. instructors are certified to deliver programs to students from kindergarten through 12th grade.

In Charles County, school resource officers are assigned to every high school and middle school on a full-time basis.

These officers are also responsible for interacting with students at elementary schools. “We are committed to ensuring safety in our schools as well as mentoring the youth in Charles County,” said Sheriff Berry. “Our School Resource Officers play a critical role in that endeavor, and teaching D.A.R.E. is one important tool they use. We hope this impacts the students and gives them something to think about when faced with tough choices in school and throughout life.” 

For more information about the CCSO School Resource Unit, visit

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...