Sheriff Errol D. Toulon, Jr. to Lead 2019 Say NO to Drugs March
Riverhead Community Awareness Program, Inc. (CAP) will sponsor its 34th Annual Say NO to Drugs March on June 7, 2019. Suffolk County Sheriff Errol D. Toulon, Jr. will be the honored guest and keynote speaker.
Errol D. Toulon, Jr., Ed.D., is Suffolk County’s highest-ranking law enforcement official. He is Suffolk’s 67th Sheriff and the County’s first African-American to be elected to a non-judicial countywide office. In addition to initiating many innovative programs, he has also made it a priority to get to the root causes of and prevent youthful delinquency and inter-generational crime.
“Growing up in the South Bronx, I saw my peers smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol, which deterred me from engaging in that lifestyle,” said Sheriff Toulon. “As an adult, I can see how it kept them from reaching their potential – none of them reached their potential.”
Sheriff Toulon says that the highlight of his position is making an impact on youth. His goal, which hangs in the lobby of his headquarters, is to “get to them before they get to me.”
“Youth have a voice,” he said.
focused on prevention
Since 1983 Riverhead CAP has provided drug and alcohol prevention, education and counseling programs for the Riverhead Central School District. CAP is best known for its two-year prevention program serving over 850 fifth and sixth graders in Pulaski Street School each year.
The Life Skills program is taught by community volunteers and student peer leaders. It concludes with the annual Say NO to Drugs March. The goal of the program is to prevent and delay underage drinking and drug use in youth. Its evidence-based foundation is rooted in building self-esteem, and increasing healthy decision-making skills.
“Sheriff Toulon is both community oriented and focused on prevention,” said Felicia Scocozza, executive director of Riverhead CAP. “These values align perfectly with CAP’s mission. In addition, he is an excellent role model and has a positive message for Riverhead youth.”
“I’ve learned there is a lot more going on in young people’s lives than we realize,” said Sheriff Toulon. “There is a need to fit in and get good grades, as well as the influences of peer pressure and social media. I want them to know that there are other mechanisms they can engage in instead of drinking, vaping and smoking marijuana.”
34th annual say no to drugs march
The march begins at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, June 7th, in front of Pulaski Street School; heads south on Roanoke Avenue, then west on 2nd Street, returning to Pulaski Street School via Griffing and Hallett avenues. Following the march, there will be a brief ceremony on the steps of Pulaski Street School in which Sheriff Toulon will address the students and community along with the Riverhead Town Board and other elected officials. After the ceremony, the Loyal Order of Moose Lodge #1742 will once again generously serve a picnic lunch to all of the students.
Photos and videos of past marches can be found in our online gallery here.