MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A Milford Police officer has been named the Nationwide D.A.R.E. Officer of the Year.
Officer Joanna Salati has lived in Milford all her life and is a 22-year veteran of the force. She was selected as a D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) instructor back in 2006.
“I enjoy teaching the kids and becoming friends with them and teaching them how to be safe and be courteous to each other,” she said. “It’s very important in our school systems because they see us as a mentor and a friend. For them to talk to us and not be afraid of a police officer or afraid to talk to a police officer.”
Officer Salati is also certified for the Governor’s Task Force on Justice for Abused Children “Finding Words” Forensic interviewing.
She is finishing her degree at the University of New Haven in investigations.
In a video posted on Facebook, the Milford Police Department congratulated Officer Salati and praised her dedication to the students she teaches and the community she serves.