SMART Moves program in Sterling Heights schools aims to teach children how to make 'smart' choices

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. – There's a new program in Sterling Heights hoping to reach children before they're forced to make tough choices when it comes to drugs, alcohol and bullying. Things they'll all have to face sooner or later.

  • Watch the video above for Nick Monacelli's full report.

Children are exposed to more bullying, cyberbullying, and drugs because of the internet. The programs that used to deal with drug use aren't adequate.

Sterling Heights police Officer Chris Moreau is part of a new Smart Moves program that offers life skills mastery and resistance training for fifth- and sixth-grade students.

"If people say they're your friend that's one thing. but people who are actually your friend, they show it through actions," Moreau said.

Moreau said the children often open up in ways he never expected.

"They're looking at me almost as a moral compass," he said. "I can tell them all day long that smoking is bad for you but the second they see a picture of a destroyed pair of lungs they react strongly to that."

He said children get comfortable talking about what's on their mind.

The program is in Utica and Warren districts totaling up to 19 schools. Officers work with 1,500 students every year.

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