Westborough police officer awarded for innovation in the classroom
Westborough – Officer Charles Dapolite of the Westborough Police Department has been named the winner of the 2013 NASRO/National Road Safety Foundation “Innovation in the Classroom Award.”
The award, which was presented at the national meeting of the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) in Orlando July 16, recognizes innovative teaching of traffic safety in schools by a school resource officer (SRO). It carries with it a $1,000 honorarium for the police department and Westborough High School, where he teaches.
In his five years as a police officer working in the schools, Officer Dapolite has worked with young people to teach them about seat belt safety, the dangers of drinking and driving, distracted driving and overall crash prevention training.
Dapolite created a crash simulation for 11th and 12th graders just before prom and graduation season. He scripts the event, chooses students and others to play various roles, and enlists the local fire department to provide emergency equipment and its Life Flight helicopter.
Last year, Dapolite extended his efforts to younger students, getting fifth- and sixth-graders involved in a national safe driving awareness competition.
“I look at my role as a dynamic educator on safe driving,” he said. “I try to start my programs with students before they drive, so my lessons will demonstrate and reinforce good driving behavior that will make them better drivers once they begin driving.”
For more than 50 years, The National Road Safety Foundation, a nonprofit organization, has created driver education programs for free distribution to schools, police, traffic safety agencies, youth advocacy groups and others. For more information, visit www.nrsf.org.
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