L.E.A.D. Program:  Law Enforcement Against Drugs

The Law Enforcement Against Drugs (L.E.A.D.) program is a collaborative effort by LEAD certified law enforcement officers, educators, students, parents, and the community to offer an educational program in the classroom to prevent or reduce drug abuse and violence among children and youth.

The emphasis of the program in fifth grade is to help students recognize and resist the many direct and subtle pressures that influence them to experiment with alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, inhalants, or other drugs or to engage in violence.  The LEAD program offers preventive strategies to enhance protective factors – especially bonding to the family, school, and community – which has been proven to help foster the development of resiliency in young people who may be at risk for substance abuse or other problem behaviors.  It also helps to build the capacity of young people in making healthy, independent growth, despite adverse conditions.  These strategies focus on the development of social competence, communication skills, self-esteem, empathy, decision-making, conflict resolution, sense of purpose and independence, and positive alternative activities to drug abuse and other destructive behaviors.


In Edgewater Park Township, the L.E.A.D. Program is taught in the 5th grade and is organized into ten 60-minute lessons taught by an Edgewater Park Township Police Officers Certified in the L.E.A.D. Instructional Curriculum. Classes are scheduled through the Township Police Department and the Ridgway School Principal in order to prevent scheduling conflicts with other educational ongoing programs. Student participation in the LEAD program is incorporated as part of the school’s curricular offering in health, science, social studies, language arts, or other subjects as appropriate.

The LEAD curriculum has proven effective in reducing adolescent alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco use in students by preparing students to act decisively in refusing offers to use drugs, and helping students to recognize the risks and avoid drug-related situations.  It also focuses on building strong decision-making, communication, planning and assertive refusal skills.  At the core of the program is empowering youth to value their own perceptions and feelings and make choices that support drug-free values.

The LEAD programs – offered in concert with other school-based prevention activities and intervention strategies for the identification, early intervention, and aftercare support of students at risk for substance abuse – may be viewed as a comprehensive substance abuse program that meets the goals of the federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act.


For more information on LEAD, click here http://www.leadrugs.org.

Contact Information

Detective Sergeant John Harris
DARE/LEAD Instructor Since 2015
(609) 877-4404 Ext. 326

Patrolman Jesse Lackraj
LEAD Instructor for 2 years, Since 2017
(609) 877-4404 Ext. 333