CLINTON — Clinton County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Stacey Bussie has retired after 28 years of service in law enforcement, 23 of them with the sheriff’s office.
Bussie, who retired March 31, served as the Drug Abuse Resistance Education instructor for Clinton County for 21 years, teaching almost 12,000 students. Bussie taught DARE to students in fifth or sixth grade in Clinton County and also taught one eighth-grade class at St. Joe’s in DeWitt.
“I think the biggest goal is just giving them information of things that they are going to see,” Bussie said. “All of our families are affected by drugs and violence. And we hope they go home and have those conversations with their loved ones, their parents, grandparents, whoever it is they live with, which we think we’ve been very successful with. Just from the emails I get or did get, talking with parents, things like that. Establishing that communication between the child and the parents because you’re going to see it. Middle school and high school is when they’re really affected by it.”
Bussie said that after he was hired onto the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, he worked about two years at the Clinton County Jail, after which he interviewed and got the position as a DARE instructor. Bussie said that over the 21 years he taught the program, the curriculum remained similar but some aspects of the class changed.
“It was similar because the curriculum was similar but things did change over time,” Bussie said. “Probably the biggest changes was the introduction of the cell phones and the information of the cell phones, the access that they have to basically the world. The abuse of prescription medications and over-the-counter medications. The heroin, of course. We have had that the last three years here in Clinton. I think those are probably some of the biggest changes we’ve seen, or at least I’ve seen, in the 21 years of teaching.
Bussie said he had been considering retirement for the past year. He said multiple factors, including becoming a grandparent, his parents getting older and his new business were all factors in his retirement. Bussie in his new business serves as a Carrying a Concealed Weapon and Basic Pistol Instructor.
“You just know when you know and then it’s time to go,” Bussie said. “That’s what I’ve always told everyone. And it’s not a bad thing. It’s really actually a good thing. I’ve started my own business and I actually got NRA certified to teach and teach carry-concealed weapons or basic pistol because I think it’s important people know if, and that’s a big if, if you’re going to carry that it’s a huge responsibility.”