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From left to right: Bridgeport Capt. Porter with School Resource Officers Staples, Cascante and Orlich. The three graduates join Bridgeport, Conn., police ranks certified in D.A.R.E. training.

Twenty-four new officers graduated from the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Officer Training Program on Friday, according to Connecticut State Police.

The officers spent two weeks learning the curriculum they’ll be teaching in elementary schools in their communities.

D.A.R.E was found in 1983 in Los Angeles. It’s an education program that teaches students about the impact of drugs and violent behavior.

The graduating class from Friday included troopers from Troop A in Southbury, Troop B in North Canaan, Troop C in Tolland, Troop G in Bridgeport, Troop I in Bethany and Troop K in Colchester.

Also among the graduates were officers from Bridgeport Police Department, Vernon Police Department, New Britain Police Department, Wolcott Police Department, Fairfield Police Department, Wethersfield Police Department and Putnam Police Department.

In the last six months, Bridgeport Police Department has added six D.A.R.E. instructors to its ranks, according to Bridgeport Police Capt. Roderick Porter.

Some officers participating in the class came as far as New Jersey, New Hampshire and California.

“Kudos to the great group of men and women that decided to take the pledge of becoming DA.R.E. officers,” state police said. “We know the past two weeks have been demanding to say the least, but now the real work begins.”

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