Dexter Police Department D.A.R.E. Program
The Dexter Police Department in conjunction with the Dexter School District has had the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program since 1988 in the school system. Officer Lori O'Dell is the Dexter schools D.A.R.E instructor, and she teaches programs at several different age groups. Officer O'Dell instructs the 5th grade core curriculum, which is a 10 week core program with new Prescription and "Over the Counter" drug lessons. Officer O'Dell also visits with K-2 grade.
Officer O'Dell also teaches a new Middle School Prescription/OTC drug lesson and is working on a new Community Prescription/OTC drug presentation.
The D.A.R.E. program is designed to help children boost their self-esteem, help to respect others, learn to "Say No" to drug and other negatives and to "Say Yes" to the positive alternatives in the world. The D.A.R.E. program reaches approximately 1,000 students or more in the Dexter schools each year.
History of the D.A.R.E. Program
In January 1983, Chief Daryl F. Gates of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) approached Dr. Harry Handler, Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), expressing concerns 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 program for elementary school children.
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 curriculums on teaching technique, elementary school operation, preparation of visual aids, officer-school relations, communication skills, and child development.
The Illinois State Police adopted the D.A.R.E. pilot program from the Los Angeles Model. Together, the Illinois State Police (ISP), State Board of Education, Department of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, local educators and police officials laid the groundwork for an Illinois pilot program that began in January 1987.
Each school is visited once a week for 17 weeks by an assigned instructor/officer. Lessons last 45 to 60 minutes and involve students in a variety of exercises, both written and oral. The instructor spends the entire day at the school. Aside from D.A.R.E. instruction, officer's present short talks on basic safety issues in grades Kindergarten through 4th grade, meet with teachers, and interact with students at lunch and recess.