Teen couple forming a heart

Teen Dating Program Recognized

The “Choose Respect” Program that helps teenagers avoid abusive dating relationships, and is overseen by the Sheriff’s Office, has been selected to receive an award from the Maryland Community Crime Prevention Institute for its proactive measures. The three-year-old program has been strongly supported by the County’s Domestic Violence Coordinating Council.

“Choose Respect” targets County middle and high school students but aims to involve parents, as well. A curriculum has been developed for the program, and when a school requests to participate, instructors from the program are sent to the school to discuss scenarios of dating. The curriculum is designed to help young people avoid situations that could lead to abusive relationships.

“All too often we see the devastating effect of relationship violence on families and communities,” said Montgomery County Sheriff Darren Popkin. “ ‘Choose Respect’ Montgomery gives law enforcement a new tool to be involved in a preventative approach targeted at our most valuable resource — our youth. I am very proud of the leadership Montgomery County has taken to help them make the best choices.”

Informing the Sheriff’s Office that its program has been selected to receive the award, Charles Rapp, executive director of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, wrote to Sheriff Popkin, “I join the Maryland Community Crime Prevention Institute in extending sincere congratulations to you for your outstanding efforts in the area of crime prevention.”

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