EDISON—Edison Police Sgt. Robert Dudash Jr. was recognized by the state D.A.R.E. Officers Association as a 2009 D.A.R.E. Officer of the Year.
Sgt. Dudash is the D.A.R.E. coordinator for the Edison Police Department and is also the supervisor of the Edison Police Department’s Community Resource Unit. The D.A.R.E. program instructs students on how to make the correct choices when it comes to avoiding involvement with drugs, gangs and violence.
Mayor Jun Choi congratulated Dudash. “His efforts as a public servant have made a positive impact on our community, particularly on our youth,” the mayor noted.
“Sgt. Dudash is an incredible D.A.R.E. enthusiast and his work and the work of all of our D.A.R.E. officers positively impacts the 1,600 plus students per year,” said Police Director Brian Collier.
Police Chief Thomas Bryan pointed to the large D.A.R.E. program Dudash oversees in Edison, one of the larger in New Jersey. “We are fortunate to have such a dedicated D.A.R.E. coordinator who is always working tirelessly to improve the program and make it fun for the kids,” Bryan said.
The Police Department has eleven certified D.A.R.E. officers who, along with Dudash, provide instruction to all of Edison’s fifth grade students in both public and private schools.
“I am extremely proud to receive this recognition given the amount of worthy nominees that were considered for this award,” Dudash said.
Dudash believes that he and all of Edison’s D.A.R.E. instructors make a positive difference in the lives of the children that go through the program. Some of the highlights that D.A.R.E. students in Edison experience outside of the classroom are:
- D.A.R.E. Roller Skating Party- attended by some 700 students per year
- D.A.R.E. Family Day- Edison’s D.A.R.E. students, their families and D.A.R.E. instructors attend a Somerset Patriot’s baseball game.
- D.A.R.E. Day- An annual Mayoral Proclamation recognizing the D.A.R.E. program and its many positive attributes.
- Edison Junior Police Academy – Offered to all D.A.R.E. graduates in the 5th, 6th and 7th grade. The one-week course is offered during the summer months and it provides the students of an overview of the many different facets of police work.
Edison Police Sgt. Robert Dudash Jr. (left) receives the 2009 D.A.R.E. Officer of the Year award from Edison Police Chief Thomas Bryan at the D.A.R.E. conference in Atlantic City on April 29. (Photo courtesy of the Edison Police Department)