Pubdate: Fri, 14 May 2004
Source: Abington Mariner (MA)
Copyright: 2004, Tri-Town Transcript
Author: Max Bowen
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)


Retiring Officer Takes Part In Final Ceremony

For most officers, the code is to serve and protect, but for retiring
Officer Michael Brady, that code extended to helping to educate
children about the dangers of drugs and substance abuse.

Brady has been working with the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE)
program at Rogers Middle School in Rockland for 10 years, educating
fifth-grade students about the dangers of drugs, how to recognize bad
situations, and how to build self-esteem. While Brady does believe
that DARE has reached some students, he acknowledges that the 17-week
program does have its shortcomings, mainly that it is an influence in
the children's lives for only a short time.

"I like to say that yes, we have been able to reach some of these
students, but DARE is not the end all, beat all," said Brady, "It's
the best program for what it does, but you can't teach it for just a
year. You teach it now, and then the next year or the year after they
forget about it."

Rockland Superintendent William Compton echoes Brady's faith in the
DARE program. He believes that the program helps to get kids to think
and to make positive choices, but does not believe that it can be the
only influence in a child's life. "All these things, good parents,
good teachers and programs like DARE, they all contribute to helping a
child make the good choices," said Compton.

Paul Stanish, principal at Rogers Middle School, has worked closely
with Brady over the years. He said the officer was something of an
ambassador for the police, that because of his work, children were
unafraid to approach him and ask him questions. He made children feel
good about the police, said Stanish, that rather than being afraid of
them, the children were no confident when they approached the officers.

For the middle school, DARE has become more important than ever, as
the school's health program is now cut due to reductions in the
budget. While Stanish believes that DARE cannot supplement the health
program, it does play an important role in the children's development.
He hopes that the program will continue even in Brady's absence. "It
was amazing to watch as he walked into a class," said Stanish, "He was
very good at explaining to the kids about making the right choices."

Brady's contributions were honored at the DARE Graduation ceremony
last Thursday (May 6). Thomas Mills of the school committee, Compton,
Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz , police chief Kevin
Donovan, State Rep. Robert Nyman, D-Hanover, and Stanish all took a
hand at speaking to the kids and congratulating them on their
achievements. The 5th grade students then sang "God Bless America" as
a tribute to Officer Brady. After that the winners of an essay contest
held for the program were presented. The six winners read their essays
to the crowd and were awarded with new bikes. A slide show done by the
7th grade class was presented showing pictures of Officer Brady
working with the kids of the program. At the end the children of the
three sections of the program and Cruz spoke to Brady, thanking him
for all his hard work over the last 10 years. Certificates were
presented to Brady and the students of the DARE program.

After 30 years on the force, Brady will be taking many great memories
with him, but the ones that stand out the most in his mind are the
people he met on the job that stayed in touch with him. "Some people
you meet only for a moment and then they're gone," said Brady, "It's a
nice feeling that they remember what you've done."

Right now Brady has no solid plans for retirement, aside from moving
down to Florida. He does plan to continue working, however, and while
he has received a few job offers, he has not accepted any of them yet,
as he may try to work on his own. "At first I was really excited, but
the closer I get the more nervous I get," said Brady, "It's a little
scary, but it's a good kind of scary."

Brady also served as the school's resource officer for three years.
During this time he worked in all the Rockland schools, helping with
any difficult situations that arose and giving advice to the students.
He also assisted the staff when legal action had to be brought against
the students. His retirement party will be held Saturday, May 22 at
the Abington VFW hall at 7 p.m.

"His work was excellent and he will be missed," said Compton, "The
students found him to be a very positive image. He was very
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