As an integral component of the Department’s goal to improve the quality of life in the communities we serve, Crime Prevention D.A.R.E. Instructors are committed to providing drug and violence prevention instruction to the youth of our City which offers them viable alternatives to gang affiliation and the use of dangerous drugs. In addition to our basic instructional responsibilities, D.A.R.E. officers willingly accept the responsibility of being role models and mentors within their respective schools and surrounding communities. All D.A.R.E. Officers pledge to work in alliance with parents, schools and our business partners to ensure that our youth receive the finest education possible and are able to live in an environment free from crime and disorder.
Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) Section
The D.A.R.E. Section is responsible for presenting the various D.A.R.E. curricula in schools within the City of Owensboro. The Section sends uniformed police officers into school classrooms within the City to teach an anti-drug and anti-gang curriculum designed to keep young people from becoming involved with drugs and gangs. The elementary school core curriculum, typically taught to fifth grade students, is a 10-week course of instruction which allows officers an opportunity to develop a positive rapport with our youngest citizens before they get into trouble. The junior high school and high school curricula are comprised of 10 lessons each, and reinforce concepts taught in the core curriculum. Research has shown that D.A.R.E. students have a more positive attitude toward the police than those who have not received D.A.R.E. instruction. Police officers assigned to D.A.R.E. also work closely with school personnel, parents and other entities within the community, promoting a positive relationship between the police and community members.
All About D.A.R.E.
This year, 35 million school children around the world — 26 million of whom are in the U.S. — will benefit from D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education). This highly acclaimed program gives children 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 nearly 80 percent of our nation’s school districts and in 52 countries around the world.
D.A.R.E. is a police officer-led series of classroom lessons that teach children from kindergarten through 7th grade how to resist peer pressure and live productive, drug- and violence-free lives. The program was developed as a joint effort between the Owensboro Police Department and the Owensboro School District. It initially focused on elementary school children, but has now been expanded to include middle school students.
D.A.R.E. goes far beyond traditional drug abuse programs that emphasize drug identification and the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol. These programs only warn children not to use these substances, not how to resist the pressures to try them. D.A.R.E. teaches children the skills they need to recognize and resist the subtle and overt pressures that may lead them to experiment with drugs and alcohol. Police officers are utilized as regular classroom instructors to teach the various D.A.R.E. curricula.
The primary goal of D.A.R.E. is the prevention of substance abuse, gang affiliation and involvement in violence among school children. D.A.R.E. accomplishes this goal by:
- Providing students with accurate information about alcohol and drugs
- Teaching students how to say “no” to drugs while providing alternatives to drug use
- Teaching students decision-making skills and about the consequences of their behavior
- Building students’ self-esteem and teaching them to resist peer pressure
The D.A.R.E. Difference
D.A.R.E.’s impact on reducing substance abuse among young people is well documented both in terms of quantitative studies verifying D.A.R.E.’s successes and in terms of real-life experiences of D.A.R.E. students. More than 20 studies from around the country cite D.A.R.E. as an excellent substance abuse prevention program. Many of these studies clearly demonstrate D.A.R.E.’s effectiveness in preventing drug, alcohol, and tobacco use.
A 1993 Gallup survey of D.A.R.E. graduates aged 11-18 reveals that 93% have never tried drugs, 75% have never tried a cigarette, and 70% have never tried alcohol. More than 90% of D.A.R.E. graduates surveyed said they believe D.A.R.E. has helped them avoid drugs and alcohol, increase their self-confidence and deal effectively with peer pressure.
- With the money spent incarcerating one inmate, D.A.R.E. can educate over 3300 children per year.
- In the time it takes to read this sentence, we’ve spent $1.20 for an inmate to sit in his prison cell.
- Every five minutes, an American smokes cocaine. In those same five minutes, D.A.R.E. has educated over 235 students about the dangers of illegal drugs.
The D.A.R.E. program has proven so successful that it is now taught in communities in all 50 states, United States territories and possessions, and Department of Defense Dependents Schools around the world. D.A.R.E. has also been adopted by 44 other nations including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Brazil, Hungary, England, the Philippine Islands and many of the Caribbean Island nations.