In conjunction with the Pen Argyl School District, the Department implemented the new D.A.R.E. program at the Wind Gap Middle School. School Resource Officer Robert Long attended a two-week D.A.R.E. Instructor Training Program held in New York, learning the updated D.A.R.E. curriculum. Throughout the fall, Officer Long teaches the ten week long program to over one hundred and twenty students.
The D.A.R.E. program began in Los Angeles in 1983 as a partnership between the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Unified School District. As some people may remember, the 1980’s saw an epidemic of drug use - the fear of Crack Cocaine infecting our nation was front page news. Crack was cheap, plentiful and highly addictive. President Ronald Reagan furthered the War on Drugs - a term popularized in the early 1970’s, by claiming drugs to be “a threat to the security of the United States”.
Today, we see another epidemic – the growing issue of Heroin abuse. Heroin is also cheap and easily addicting and all too prevalent in our suburban communities. But today, in addition to drugs, we see other social issues that negatively impact our youth, such as bullying, cyber bullying and negative peer pressure.
With this in mind, the D.A.R.E. program has undergone changes since its inception in 1983. Since then, the program has grown – with its mission focusing on teaching students “good decision making skills to help them lead safe and healthy lives”. The program, coupled with lessons learned at home, school, church and through other positive social interactions, gives our kids the knowledge and support to make better decisions, gives them positive role models and coaches kids to make the best and healthiest decisions they can.