STEUBENVILLE - The Jefferson County Drug Task Force dared to surprise City Police Patrolman Jean-Philippe Rigaud on Friday.
The drug task force presented Rigaud with a seized 2006 Hummer H3 and a check for $10,000 to be used by Rigaud when he goes into schools with his Drug Abuse Resistance Education message.
The Hummer was seized during a drug investigation and court ordered to be forfeited to the drug task force.
D.A.R.E. DONATION — Jean-Philippe Rigaud, Steubenville Police Department D.A.R.E. officer, left, was presented a 2006 Hummer H3 and a check for $10,000 by Jason Hanlin of the Jefferson County Drug Task Force to be used when Rigaud goes into schools to educate children about the dangers of abusing drugs or alcohol. The Hummer was seized as part of a drug investigation.
The surprise presentation was attended by area law enforcement, city officials and others at Froehlich's Classic Corner.
The Hummer was outfitted with D.A.R.E. logo art and specialty graphics, special LED law enforcement lights and sirens and various other upgrades.
Detective Jason Hanlin of the drug task force said he was happy to make the presentation to Rigaud.
"Educating young people on the dangers of using or abusing drugs and alcohol is where the battle starts," Hanlin said. "Officer Rigaud does an exceptional job, and we at the task force are happy to contribute to his efforts any way we can. The vehicle is a great visual representation of the D.A.R.E. program."
D.A.R.E. is the largest and most comprehensive drug education and violence prevention program in the country. Specially trained veteran police officers are assigned to teach a 17-week anti-drug, anti-violence curriculum to elementary school students. D.A.R.E. teaches the pupils ways to refuse pressure to try drugs and alcohol and the life skills necessary to stay away from drugs, alcohol and gangs.
Money seized during drug investigation was used to pay for the upgrades and logos on the Hummer. Hanlin said there was no cost to the public.
Hanlin thanked TEAM Chevrolet, Sterling's Auto Body, First Class Customs, Aladdin Signs and Froehlich's for help with the outfitting of the vehicle and the presentation.
Rigaud said it was "an amazing surprise." "I really love to do the D.A.R.E. program. Thanks for supporting it."