Today's D.A.R.E. Program
Drug Abuse Resistance Education, more commonly known as D.A.R.E., is an internationally known and recognized program that many law enforcement departments use in order to reach out into the community, especially to its youngest members. This program has made a significant impact in the lives of school-age children, educating them about drugs, peer pressure, gangs and anti-violence initiatives and how to positively handle any of these situations that may be presented in schools, neighborhoods or beyond.
Founded in 1983, the D.A.R.E. program continues to bring law enforcement and police officers together with schools and communities across the globe. This officer-led series of lessons provides insight into more than drugs, alcohol, gangs and violence, but also helps children understand the effects of these different behaviors. D.A.R.E. is also considered a community policing initiative, helping children to understand that police and law enforcement officers are helpers, as well as enforcers, helping to establish a level of trust in the community.
Police and law enforcement officers in the D.A.R.E. program are required to complete 80 hours of specilized police training to assist with basic knowledge of child development, communication, teaching and classroom management. For officers who teach the D.A.R.E. curriculum on a high school level, more training is required. For students who experience the D.A.R.E. education, the interaction with law enforcement in a safe and familiar environment can open up doors to communicating about subjects other than drugs or violence. D.A.R.E. officers are educated to expect questions relating to police work and firearms, domestic concerns and can even provide insight into personal issues that affect students today.
Community programs like D.A.R.E. are important for the safety and education of children who may be exposed to drug and violence in schools, neighborhoods, or even within families. While other programs are available through local community resources, schools and organizations, the D.A.R.E. program may be the longest-standing program that is available across the globe. With the commitment of D.A.R.E. America, the non-profit organization formed to ensure the continual development and evaluation of D.A.R.E. curriculum and the concern of law enforcement or police officers, teachers, school faculty and parents, the benefits of the D.A.R.E. program continue to be seen all over the world.