The Swatara Township Police Department hosted a T.E.A.M. training school July 23-26, 2012 at the Swatara Township Municipal Building. T.E.A.M. stands for Teaching, Educating, and Mentoring and is being instituted in the schools to replace the DARE program.
T.E.A.M. was started by Michigan State Police in 1998 in collaboration with public and private school curriculum experts. The curriculum is designed for grades K-12 and covers topics such as personal, internet, gun, and fire safety, along with lessons on the harm of drugs, bullying, and other emergency situations. Older students get additional lessons on the court system, defensive driving, seat belt safety, and dating violence. A trained police officer acts in a liaison role with the schools to establish relationships with the students through teaching and mentoring.
The training was conducted by certified police officers from Lower Allen Township and Fairview Township. The police officers who attended were from Swatara Township, Derry Township, and Middletown Borough in Dauphin County; Camp Hill Borough in Cumberland County; York City and Northeastern Regional in York County; Annville Township in Lebanon County; and New Holland Borough in Lancaster County. According to Sgt. Lator of Michigan State Police, this was the first T.E.A.M. class taught in Pennsylvania using Pennsylvania trained instructors not part of Michigan State Police where the program originated.
The flexibility of the T.E.A.M. curriculum will allow the newly trained officers to tailor specific programs to their target audiences. The strength of the program is that the police department and the schools can work together to bring important life lessons to students and the police officers can build lasting relationships as positive role models.