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ELC fifth graders take the D.A.R.E. pledge

92 take part in 2019 graduation

April 14, 2019
David Swartz - Managing Editor ( , Estherville News

By David Swartz

Managing Editor

Ninety-two Estherville Lincoln Central fifth grade students celebrated their graduation from the D.A.R.E. program Tuesday evening at Roosevelt Auditorium.

Article Photos

Instructor Nate Dunlavy, who also serves as the school resource officer, said he has now taught the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program for the past 11 years.

The program helps teach youth about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other illegal substances.

"We also teach decision-making and where to get help," Dunlavy said.

Similar to a high school or college graduation, each fifth grader walked across the Roosevelt stage and received a certificate indicating their completion of the DARE program.

The students also wrote essays during the course of the program and the top essays from each of the five fifth-grade classes were recognized with an overall winner.

The class winners were: Macy Colegrove (5-1), Morgan Clabaugh (5-2), Evan Jagodzinske (5-3), Breyden Rodriguez (5-4) and Chloe Wood (5-5). The overall winner was Damaris Chilel-Ramirez.

Tuesday's program concluded with a demonstration of Estherville police dog Max with a question and answer session with his handler, officer Matt Reineke.

Reineke explained to the students that Max specializes in tracking, evidence recovery and in finding illegal narcotics.

Max has been with the Estherville police since 2012 and is the third dog the department has had.

Estherville Police Chief Brent Shatto reiterated that Max's most recent case involved helping find an escaped prisoner from the Emmet County Jail. Shatto said that it was dark and officers did not know where the suspect was, but Max found him.

Reineke said during the course of his time in Estherville, Max also has found in excess of $20,000 in illegal narcotics.

The cost of training Max was $8,000 and Reineke explained the training of a German shepherd can be more expensive-from $12,000 to $15,000-because that breed is also trained to catch and subdue suspects.

Reineke said that Max was originally a rescue dog that was abandoned by his owners and found by trainers in a shelter.

"What trainers look for is the drive in a dog," said Reineke. "Max would want to play fetch 24 hours a day and became a nuisance at the shelter."

However, that desire is what makes Max a good police dog.



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