Riverhead Community Awareness Program, Inc. (CAP) will sponsor its 29th Annual Say NO to Drugs March on Friday, June 6, 2014. Police Officer Dennis Cavanagh, the Riverhead News Review’s 2013 Public Servant of the Year, will lead this year’s march.
“I’ve been part of this event for many years,” said Cavanagh. “I’m honored to be involved, and thrilled to be helping students understand they have the right and the power to make smart choices.”
“Officer Cavanagh leads the march every year on his highway patrol motorcycle,” said Felicia Scocozza, CAP’s executive director. “We are excited to also have him as our keynote speaker this year.”
Officer Cavanagh is in his 29th year at the Riverhead Police Department. The only member of the department’s highway patrol, he has been a trainer for the department since 1987. He has received numerous honors including the Riverhead PBA Presidential Award and a Suffolk County Proclamation, both in 2013. In February 2013, he swiftly tracked down and arrested four individuals who had just fired seven shots into a downtown home. Those arrests, combined with his “illustrious” career on the force, resulted in Officer Cavanagh being honored as the Riverhead News Review’s 2013 Public Servant of the Year.
Officer Cavanagh has partnered with CAP to help teach a four-part STOP DWI program for Riverhead High School students, as well as a workshop at the 2011 East End Youth Leadership Summit entitled, Risky Business: Drinking, Driving, Texting and Teens. Prior to serving in the Riverhead PD, Cavanagh served in the Marines for nearly five years.
“I don’t think CAP could have picked a better person to lead the march,” said Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller. “Dennis is very aware of the dangers of underage drinking and drug abuse, and the toll these crimes take on our youth and community. This is a big honor for him and for the department.”
Since 1983 Riverhead Community Awareness Program, Inc. (CAP), a nonprofit organization, has been providing 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 750 fifth and sixth graders in Pulaski Street School each year. The program is taught by community volunteers and student peer leaders, and concludes with the annual Say NO to Drugs March in which students march through Riverhead wearing Drug Free Body t-shirts.
Following the march, there will be a brief ceremony on the steps of Pulaski Street School in which Officer Cavanagh will address the students and community. After the ceremony, the Loyal Order of Moose Lodge #1742 will once again generously serve a picnic lunch to all of the students.
The 29th Annual Say NO to Drugs March begins at 9:30 a.m. 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.