This year millions of school children around the world will benefit from D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), the highly acclaimed program that gives kids the skills they need to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs, and violence. D.A.R.E. was founded in 1983 in Los Angeles and has proven so successful that it is now being implemented in 75 percent of our nation's school districts and in more than 43 countries around the world. D.A.R.E. is a police officer-led series of classroom lessons that teaches children how to resist peer pressure and live productive drug and violence-free lives.
Lieutenant Harry Luke teaches the DARE program to 5th grade students in Putnam County. He presents the program to over 400 students each year.
The D.A.R.E. curriculum is taught by officers whose training and experience allows them to answer the sophisticated questions often posed by young students about drugs and crime. Prior to entering the D.A.R.E. program, officers undergo 80 hours of special training in areas such as child development, classroom management, teaching techniques, and communication skills.
Since 1998, the Sheriff's Office has educated over 4,000 students using the D.A.R.E. program. We are proud of the impact it makes on their lives:
- "humanizes" the police so that young people can begin to relate to officers as people
- permits students to see officers in a helping role, not just an enforcement role
- opens lines of communication between law enforcement and youth
- opens dialogue between the school, law enforcement, and parents to deal with other issues.
The D.A.R.E. Program has been presented to students in Putnam County at no cost to the taxpayer. Assets seized from criminals and fines paid by convicted drug offenders have funded the D.A.R.E. program in our schools.