Drug Abuse Resistance Education




In January 1983, Chief Daryl F. Gates of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) approached Dr. Harry Handler, superintendant of the Los angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), expressing concern about drug problems facing society. As a result of this meeting, a task force comprised of LAPD and LAUSD personnel was appointed to develop a drug abuse prevention program for elementary school children.



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During the development of the curriclum, numerous drug abuseeducation programs were examined. Task force members agreed that a prevention program was best suited for the targeted age group. Existing prevention models, which emphasized an understanding of the peer pressure, self-management skills (decision making, values clarification, and problem solving), positive lifestyles, and alternatives to drug use appeared to be experiencing high success. As a result of this study, a cooperative LAPD/LAUSD drug prevention program called "D.A.R.E." (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) was developed for presentation to fifth and sixth grade students. D.A.R.E. curriculum focuses on the peer resistance training, self-concept improvement and valued judgement about respect for the law and personal safety.

In September 1983, the D.A.R.E. pilot program was introduced in selected Los Angeles City Schools by ten LAPD officers. Before entering the classroom, the officers participated in 80 hours of training, including curriculum on teaching technique, elementary school operation, preparation of visual aids, officer-school relations, communication skills and child development.

Since its inception, Los Angeles D.A.R.E. has grown to 53 officers who reach students in more than 300 elementary schools in the city. Teachers, school administrators, parents and students report positive results directly attributable to D.A.R.E. instruction. The program is so successful that it has become a model for police agencies throughout the country.

The Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department is concerned with drug prevention education. Realizing the impact this program could have in our community, we adopted the D.A.R.E. program to be taught by a qualified officer in our Department in Tobyhanna Elementary Center. Officer Dan SMELES, Certified D.A.R.E. instructor, attended the D.A.R.E. Officers' Training Academy and has been designated as the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Departments' representative. The course is conducted by D.A.R.E. mentors of the Pa. Commission on Crime and Delinquency, which is responsible for certifying law enforcement officers to become D.A.R.E. instructors.

The D.A.R.E. program is looking toward the future for the health and well being of all of our children.




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