Brownstown detective becomes D.A.R.E officer

The Brownstown Police Department has its newest D.A.R.E. officer.

Detective Jac Sanders recently completed training to become certified as an instructor for the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program.

The 10-week program aims to give children the life skills to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs and violence. It includes a graduation ceremony.

The 48-year-old had to complete a two-week training program at Riverside Intermediate School in Fishers with 18 other officers, including Lt. Adam Nicholson with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.

The training was about 10 and a half hours of daily classtime and an additional two to three hours of homework each evening. It included a lot of public speaking, lesson planning, written testing and more.

Sanders agreed with Nicholson that it was the most difficult training he has completed throughout his 14-year law enforcement career. In his seven years as a police officer, he has been through homicide trainings, firearms training, the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, undercover training and more. Still, D.A.R.E. ranks as the most challenging.

The training included speeches for 10, 20 and 45 minutes. Instructors also gave them random topics with little preparation before they had to effectively speak about the topic for two minutes.

Sanders said it was challenging because of how much information was given to participants in such a short period of time.

"It’s like drinking from a fire hydrant," he joked. "They want to know you’re capable of handling that much information."

But with the training behind him, Sanders said he is ready to begin to help influence young people and already is looking forward to interacting with students.

"My goal is to impact the lives of young people for the better and prevent problems before they arise," he said. "I want to be proactive in our community, and the D.A.R.E. program is a great tool and asset to get into the hearts and minds of young people before they become of age. I love young people, and honestly, when you’re actually understanding the impact that you have in young people’s lives, it’s very fulfilling."

Sanders and Nicholson agreed that it was helpful to have someone at the training that they knew.

Sanders also said he looks forward to working with Nicholson in the future as they each present their programs to area fifth graders.

"I will glean from his training, and if he ever needs my assistance, we will work together," he said.

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The Brownstown D.A.R.E. program relies on donations.

For information on how to donate, call the Brownstown Police Department at 812-358-2345.