Recently the Wisconsin DARE Officer's Association State Conference was held in Wisconsin Dells. Deputy Laurie J Zondlo was awarded the top honor of Wisconsin DARE Officer of the Year for her 18 years of service teaching the DARE Program and being involved in many community and public service activities in Price County.
Deputy Zondlo received a plaque as well as a traveling plaque from State representatives including Attorney General Brad Schimel and State DARE Officer's Association President Pete Ehlert.
Deputy Zondlo, originally from Rib Lake, Wisconsin, received her Police Science degree at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau and moved to Phillips in 1996 after being hired by the Price County Sheriff's Office as a patrol deputy. Deputy Zondlo started teaching the DARE Program in the Prentice and Ogema schools in 1997 after receiving training in Madison.
DARE, which stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, is a 12 week program taught in 4th and 5th grade classrooms in the Prentice School District since 1991. Lessons about smoking, alcohol use, peer pressure, bullying, prescription drug use, self esteem, learning ways to say no, and internet safety are among some of the classes taught by Deputy Zondlo.
Deputy Zondlo was honored to receive the award and dedicated it to all the kids past and present in her DARE Program. Deputy Zondlo drives a 1959 Ford Fairlane DARE car to the schools and in local parades as a symbol of the program. Deputy Zondlo's Pug, Lucy, is also part of the program as the DARE Pug, and Lucy goes to the schools to visit the kids as their mascot.