22 New D.A.R.E. Officers Complete Certification Course
On Friday, June 16, 2023, Connecticut celebrated the completion of the 51st DARE Officer Certification Course, adding 22 newly-certified DARE Officers for the state. Among these new graduates, the legacy of one family and its profound impact on the DARE program was honored.
Officer Sal Nesci, who first became certified as a DARE officer in 1998, along with his partner Tom Cirillo, ran the DARE Unit for the Meriden Police and played a crucial role in certifying new officers. The powerful message of making positive choices resonated deeply within the Nesci family, as both of Sal's sons grew up to become police officers in Connecticut.
State Trooper Sebastian Nesci, currently serving as Andover Resident Trooper, is a previously certified DARE officer who teaches the program not only in Andover but also in Scotland. Sal's other son, Sgt. Domanic Nesci of UConn Police, will be the first UConn officer to become certified in DARE. The UConn police are joining forces with the Mansfield Resident Trooper office to serve the Mansfield community in a new way. To make this achievement even more remarkable, Domanic was trained and mentored by his father's former partner, retired Meriden Police Officer Tom Cirillo.
In addition to these inspiring stories, the state is certifying officers to start new programs with Yale University Police, East Windsor Police, and Montville Police Department. We are also excited to announce that several towns have programs that are returning after a more than five-year gap in teaching the DARE program to students. We are privileged to welcome these programs and the dedicated officers who will use proven prevention science techniques to make a positive impact on our state's students through DARE.