The Otero County Sheriff’s Office is proud to participate in the D.A.R.E. program, that teaches children about the dangers of drug and alcohol use and the violence which often accompanies it. 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, but 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.
It's a sad fact that 70% - 90% of all crime in the U.S. is drug-related, and the age of those involved in these crimes seems to be inching ever downward. D.A.R.E. has found a way to battle the problem before it starts. By giving young children the tools to resist the peer pressure to try drugs and alcohol or participate in violence, we can win the war before it's even fought.
The D.A.R.E. Program is at the forefront of substance abuse prevention education. The D.A.R.E. curriculum is designed to be taught by police officers whose training and experience give them the background needed 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.
The program content for D.A.R.E. is organized into ten one-hour lessons to be taught in the exit grade of the elementary school (fifth grade). These strategies focus on the development of social competence, communication skills, self-esteem, empathy, decision making, conflict resolution, sense of purpose and independence, and positive alternative activities to drug abuse and other destructive behaviors. Another aspect of the program is the D.A.R.E. Decision-Making Model. This model is emphasized throughout the program to teach students how to make good decisions and to give them the confidence that they can make good choices in any situation.
The Otero County Sheriff’s Office has successfully implemented the D.A.R. E. Program into the following elementary schools:
- La Luz Elementary
- Yucca Heights Elementary
- Cloudcroft Elementary
- Sunrise Elementary
Experts Make the Difference
There are numerous reasons for D.A.R.E.’s success. Its unparalleled delivery system utilizing law enforcement officers as instructors and the fact that it was the first program of its kind anywhere in the world to have individually and collectively played a critical role in D.A.R.E.’s growth and expansion. However, to remain relevant, effective, and impactful requires much more… it requires the crucial review and substantive contributions of highly respected experts in the field of education, science, and law enforcement. And it also needs the intelligent comments and recommendations of the program’s audience – school children.
- Deputy Raul Robles
- Deputy Jonathan Cragin
- Deputy Daniel Soule
- Deputy Yvonne Martinez
- Deputy Alex Rankin
Is D.A.R.E. Working?
You bet it is just ask former D.A.R.E. students. National studies show that among D.A.R.E. graduates, 93% have never tried drugs, 70% have never tried alcohol, and 75% have never tried a cigarette. Over 90% said D.A.R.E. has helped them avoid drugs and alcohol, increasing their self-confidence and ability to deal effectively with peer pressure.
D.A.R.E. improves social interaction between police officers, students, and schools. A basic precept of the D.A.R.E. Program is that elementary school children lack sufficient social skills to resist peer pressure and to say no to drugs. Schools have reported D.A.R.E. officers as providing a "sense of safety and calm" in the wake of school shootings and street violence. Students who enroll in D.A.R.E. have better attendance in the classroom. A 2010 peer-reviewed study on the D.A.R.E. program found that students were more likely to attend school on days they received D.A.R.E. lessons.
How can you make a difference? The first step is by being a good role model to your children. Although they don't act like it at times, they listen to what you say. So talk to them about drugs and violence, and more importantly, listen to them. You're the most important instructor they have.
D.A.R.E. has great goals that should be pursued regardless of cost or efficacy. If D.A.R.E. can prevent even one child from becoming addicted to drugs or dying from a drug overdose, then it is worth funding.
For additional information about the D.A.R.E. Program, please click on the logo below to visit the official D.A.R.E. websites: