Darrin Michaels is a lot like other college freshman, with the exception of his zero tolerance policy regarding underage drinking. He doesn’t do it, and he doesn’t approve of it.
“It’s illegal for a reason.” he says. Darrin was the student representative for DARE in his school district, a position created specifically for him. Even now, he considers himself a college DARE student. After winning the “Why I Say No to Drugs” essay contest, he never looked back. “It was thrilling to see how much power I could attain simply by being against something. Plus, drugs and alcohol ruin so many lives. I knew I had found my calling.”
A criminology major, Darrin already considers himself a full time member of the police force.
For him, law enforcement is more than a job, it’s a state of mind.
“I consider myself an undercover apprentice.” Darrin says, explaining the behavior that made him infamous on campus in only a few months. Darrin goes out on Friday and Saturday nights like everyone else, but he is there with business in mind. “I noticed the rampant underage consumption of alcohol right away.” he says. Knowing he had to be the one to reverse the trend, he infiltrated the social circle of known party animals. After attending their parties and attaining their trust, he started making moves.
“I’ll never forget the first bust. I called in the underage drinking, and directed the cops to the right house. The feeling of power that surged through my veins when I saw those kids being lead away in handcuffs, that’s what I live for,”
he says. That night was the first in a long string of house party busts, each orchestrated by Darrin.
Many of the students arrested in these raids have lost their scholarships, or been kicked out of the school. Darrin feels for them, but wouldn’t change a thing.
“What can I say? You fought the law, and the law won. I’m doing these kids a favor in the long run. Sure, there are repercussions now, but it might just serve as the kick in the ass they need to get their heads on straight.” Darrin views underage alcohol consumption as a gateway crime, and aims to stop students at his university from developing a pattern of disrespecting the law.
The backlash against him has been harsh. No one knew who was calling in the parties, until Darrin was photographed watching with arms crossed as students were put into the paddy wagon. He was wearing a DARE shirt. Flyers adorning his face now litter the campus, with the words “Tattle Tale” and “Douchebag” scrolled across the top.
After being recognized and chased by a group of angry students, he went deeper undercover. He is still working under aliases with various styles of mustache.
“I’ll never quit. As long as kids are drinking, I’ll be out there trying to stop them.” Darrin concedes that he views himself as the campus super hero, and enjoys having a hidden identity. “Darrin by day, DARE Man by night.” he strikes a pose.
Is what Darrin is doing good or bad? Is he really a hero? Or a menace ruining students’ lives?